Australian Newsagency Blog

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The problems with magazines from newspaper publishers

Mark Fletcher
June 29th, 2010 · 10 Comments

With more newsagents now trading as retail only newsagents and receiving newspapers as sub agents, there will be a great reluctance for newspaper publishers to take on more magazine distribution work.

With magazines at 25% margin struggling to pay their way I can see no upside in taking on magazines with a margin of 12.5%.  With shopping centre rent priced more than $1,000 per square metre, every magazine pocket has to justify itself.  At 12.5% this can’t happen.

This will be an issue if newspaper publishers take on the distribution of more magazines.


Category: magazine distribution · magazines

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 PETER // Jun 29, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    also the problem that these titles are not managed through xchangeit and need to be done manually (arrivals and returns etc) there is no channel for early or late returns either


  • 2 Tony // Jun 30, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    I agree, you cant even open the doors for 12.5%, but think about the poor newsagent that is contracturally obliged to supply subagents. For his 12.5% share, he has to:
    Maintain “your” account
    Constantly change order volumes
    Assemble the order & Deliver
    Pick up and reconcile returns
    Bill you
    Harass you for payment
    Fund your overdraft.
    Wear the bad debts

    Shall I go on?


  • 3 DB // Jun 30, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Tony well said couldn’t agree more


  • 4 Garry // Jun 30, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    Tony & DB

    I think subagents forget what we have to do for our 12.5%


  • 5 PETER // Jul 1, 2010 at 6:33 AM

    if you guys are having trouble getting the money from your sub agents…. do something about it. change their terms
    stop their supply
    restrict their supply
    have them pick up supplies and drop off returns.
    customers/subagents only become bad debits when we dont keep an eye on their account.

    alot of subagent/newsagent agrements have probably been around for longer than the current newsagent. if the arrangement is not crystal clear then there can be this resentment.
    i think us newsagents forget that for 12.5% we do not have to pay their rent, pay their staff, pay the overheads etc. and they deal with the consumers.

    its not that bad, and if it is, then do something about it yourself.



  • 6 Mark // Jul 1, 2010 at 7:13 AM

    As a ‘subagent’ for newspapers, I will not take magazines distributed through newspaper companies for anything less than 25%. It is simply uneconomic.


  • 7 PETER // Jul 1, 2010 at 7:42 AM


    what about BRW ? do you stock that?

    we only stock the rich 200 list each year


  • 8 Mark // Jul 1, 2010 at 7:53 AM

    In one store and not in another.


  • 9 Dean // Jul 1, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    I have 5 newsagency lookalike subagents. We supply the full magazine range to 2 of these,
    and try to only give them titles they are likely to sell as best we can.

    The 3 others have accounts with the magazine distributors. We do not give them magazines unless we ask them first. I agree that at 12.5% it is not worth their while, and they won’t want them unless they are popular titles anyway. It is also a waste of our time if all they are going to do is send the magazines straight back.

    Looking at the magazines that Fairfax is starting to supply lately, none of them are likely to sell in our area anyway. We aren’t sending most of them out to any subagents. So all it means is Fairfax gets to hold onto our money for a few weeks while the stock sits in our storeroom.


  • 10 Warren // Jul 1, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    what a joke this magazine distribution system is. I run a small shop, very small, and co;s like gg and NDC keep sending me more and more magazines, based on sales data and projected sales data . I have been having trouble with getting magazine returns thru the xchangeit link, with date not being transferred properly ??? and this file just sitting in the uinsent area. I returned a large amount june 28 and again am on jun 30, with both these sitting there. I am, awaiting on a very large bill from NDC, because they can. I have spoken to both xchange it and Tower(retailer) and they say that I have corrupted files , yet these go straight thru to GG and NDD with no hassles. I am currently running 2.2B for retailer, can anyone help on this matter, I have been in this industry for only a few months./ I will give credit to GG and their return system, they just allocate what is old stock, what is supp and what is early etc and it all falls into place, but not with NDC, and now with the demise of NDD, what hope have I got with NDC. Please help someone out there in IT land, please contact me on


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