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There go the sales of the Herald Sun interstate

Mark Fletcher
February 8th, 2012 · 13 Comments

I was surprised to hear from a newsagent in Queensland yesterday that the Herald and Weekly Times is moving away from a sale and return model for the supply of the Herald Sun newspaper to interstate newsagents.  This is a significant move which will, I think, reduce sales.

Actually I am not surprised. This is another change where a publisher pushes a cost and or risk down to the retailer. We’ll see more of it … because they can.

Maybe it was the only option available to H&WT.  Maybe the returns percentage was either too high or fluctuated too much.

At the same time of telling newsagents that the sale or return approach was out the window, they increased the freight charge.  This is interesting in that newspaper companies have a track record of not allowing newsagents to pass on all freight and other operational cost increases on in their newspaper home delivery businesses.  Here is the text of their notice to newsagents:

The Herald & Weekly Times has reviewed the distribution of the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun into the Queensland market.

The review considered the economics of distributing our newspapers to your state particularly in light of the increased airfreight charges out of Melbourne over recent years.

The review revealed that unless we are able to find a way to recoup the increased costs we will be forced to withdraw the Herald Sun from your market.  To avoid the latter option we have made two decisions;

  1. As a first step  the freight component of the cover price was increased effective from January 2nd, 2012.
  2. As a second step your newsagency will be supplied with the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun on a “no returns” basis i.e. no credit can be claimed for unsold copies.  This will be effective from May 1, 2012.

Under this new arrangement you will still be selling the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun under your existing agency agreement with Queensland Newspapers, however whether you wish to stock these newspapers in your newsagency post April 2nd under the terms outlined in this letter is entirely your decision.  You can of course adjust your supply quantities through Queensland Newspapers via Connect, phone or fax.

I would like to thank your newsagency for your support over the past years and hope that you continue to sell our newspapers in your newsagency.  If you have any questions about any of the above please do not hesitate to contact the circulation department at Queensland Newspapers.

1 likes

Category: newspaper home delivery · Newspapers · Ugh!

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 allan wickham // Feb 8, 2012 at 7:19 AM

    I got this E-mail Yesterday too Mark and i am FURIOUS. My supplying Agent has told me for the last 6 years that the Herald Sun is a firm sale……………….

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  • 2 pb // Feb 8, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Allan…. we are a supplying newsagent and we are very confused by this email as the Herald Sun has been a firm sale for us for several years now. Whether the firm sale wasn’t state wide before we don’t know but it has definitely been a firm sale for us for several years.

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  • 3 Y&G // Feb 8, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    “I would like to thank your newsagency for your support over the past years and hope that you continue to sell our newspapers in your newsagency.”

    Have to laugh. The alternative is a complete waste of energy.

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  • 4 SHAUN S // Feb 8, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    i always thought it was as well . i used to get one in for a customer a couple of years ago and i always was was under the understanding that it was a firm sale

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  • 5 Shayne // Feb 8, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    We used to sell about 20 a day here in the Snowy Mountains until they made the decision to send them a day late. Now we sell 2 a week. I suppose this will be the next step in which case we will close our account with HWT.

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  • 6 Peter // Feb 8, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    We have been firm sale for the past few years and also received a day late… Got caught with a number of them so only ever putaway fr customers who had accounts set-up…

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  • 7 allan wickham // Feb 8, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    Somebody needs to clarify all of this……stay tuned.

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  • 8 Muz // Feb 8, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    We have been firm sale for years !! And we get them a day late

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  • 9 Anna // Feb 8, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    We supply this and its always been on a return basis never a firm sale for us

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  • 10 Shane // Feb 8, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    I have not recieved an email regarding this.
    We recieve our supply on the day and have always been able to return. In our area in tourist season we can sell up to 100 copies per day.

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  • 11 The PM // Feb 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    I’m in central west NSW, we have been firm sale for years.Receiving them a day late has always been the norm and is simply a function of what time our truck has to leave Sydney to get here at a reasonable time.

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  • 12 Paul // Feb 8, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    A clarification email just came through as follows:

    Dear Newsagents,

    Following our notification yesterday concerning the Herald Sun I would like to clarify two points.

    Firstly this notice was sent to all agents who would be affected by the change as well as agents who are outside South-East Qld who are already supplied this publication on a no returns basis.

    It was intended to inform all newsagents of the changes but I understand it would have led to confusion for those already selling The Herald Sun with no returns.

    Secondly there was an error in the text which read

    “Under this new arrangement you will still be selling the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun under your existing agency agreement with Queensland Newspapers, however whether you wish to stock these newspapers in your newsagency post April 2nd under the terms outlined in this letter is entirely your decision”

    The letter should have stated “post May 1st” not April 2nd.

    My apologies for the errors.

    Regards

    Robert Rigby

    Circulation Manager

    News Queensland

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  • 13 AARON // Feb 10, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Th Weekly Times is the Victorian equivalent of the Country Life & The Land. With the freight component which we have always applied, the Weekly Times sells for $1.75. The Land & Country Life sell for $3.60. We have never understood why the Weekly Times price isn’t in line with it’s equivalent publications. Surely a price increase would help to cover costs instead of cost cutting by imposing extra financial burdens on the newsagent.

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