Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.


Mark Fletcher
May 1st, 2012 · 68 Comments

Set to help e-commerce sites and eBay sellers.

Newsagency software company Tower Systems is working with ParcelPoint to introduce the ParcelPoint system through the network of Newsagents using the Tower Point of Sale and other technology.

Certain to drive supplier and consumer interest, the introduction of ParcelPoint through the 1,800+ newsagent strong Tower network is certain to be welcomed by newsagents as it leverages their broad geographic spread.

What is ParcelPoint? ParcelPoint is establishing a network of Agents around Australia as an alternative location for customer parcels to be delivered. The key features of this new model are:

  • Allows each retail newsagency to become a parcel delivery location
  • More convenient for consumers than Australia Post, or other delivery options as  – longer opening hours, customers receive email/SMS notification
  • A new revenue opportunity for Newsagents … driving consumer traffic
  • Successful model in Europe and USA as a viable alternative to the Post Office structure

“ParcelPoint is an excellent opportunity for newsagents to tap into the last mile delivery opportunity” commented Mark Fletcher, Managing Director of Tower Systems.  “We are thrilled to support this new business initiative.”

Adam McArthur, COO of ParcelPoint adds “ParcelPoint have already signed up many newsagents in NSW and we are now ready for a national roll-out. We have a built a strong team and have already established relationships with transport and retail businesses to drive parcel volume through our network. We look forward to expanding this significantly over the next few months”

Benefits for newsagents

This is a great opportunity for newsagents to:

  1. Drive new revenue
  2. Bring new customers to your store
  3. Take advantage of the growth, and impending explosion, of online shopping and delivery

What do I do next?

  1. Watch this introductory video that describes the service and what to expect.
  2. Express your interest here.
  3. ParcelPoint will contact you shortly

There is no cost for newsagents to become a ParcelPoint outlet.

Disclosure: I am the owner of Tower Systems.


Category: Newsagency management · Newsagency opportunities

68 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ian // May 1, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    Mark, the intro video doesn’t link – or is it just me!!


  • 2 CAMERON // May 1, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    What a great idea. Everyone knows the frustrations of the current AP and courier options, especially those who work full time.

    My shop is open 84 hours a week. The post office up the road is open 43 hours a week.


  • 3 CAMERON // May 1, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    use the ‘Express your interest here’ link Ian


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // May 1, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Sorry Ian, fixed.


  • 5 Ian // May 1, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    Thanks Mark.


  • 6 david // May 1, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    Excellent idea, i am on board


  • 7 murray // May 1, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    Great idea, sounds very good. One question though, do we have to have extra insurance ?


  • 8 Brendan // May 1, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    Done, looks like an exciting opportunity.


  • 9 Brendan // May 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Unfortunately I don’t have a pc at the store with sound so i could not get any info from the video. Can we be a lodgement point as well???


  • 10 Doug Lake // May 1, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    A bit late isn’t it? Australia Post is currently rolling out parcel lockers at a range of outlets across the nation, some already in operation. See ParcelPoint won’t be able to compete with 24/7 convenience.


  • 11 David // May 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    why is it that you cannot undertake this project with State Associations and ALL Newsagents not just Tower users.

    Your actions fragment the Industry Mark.

    Not happy Jan….


  • 12 Jon // May 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Being a Newsagent and a LPO I would have to say just look before you leap. In the 4 years we have had the business parcel delivery as grown 10 fold. This might sound like a positive but consideration has to be given to all of the following.

    Storage – What quantity of parcels will you be required to handle and store and what timeframe will you be required to store parcels for. About 15-20% don’t pick up parcels until we send out final notices (3 weeks).

    Size/Weight – Popular items include, cartons of wine, prams, TV’s, cot’s, ice boxes (120l) etc.. recently we even received 2 clothes dryers for the same address each weighing in excess of 25 kilo’s (10 days before they picked them up and then gave a gobful because they paid for them to be delivered).

    Procedure / time consumption – What will be requirements for the handling of these parcels. eg. Will they be scanned, hand written, will reminder notices have to be sent, what proof of delivery will you have etc…

    Customers (Term used loosely) – Yes they are coming in the door but just like bus passes in the morning they are on a mission. They are picking up either something they are excited about, therefore have no interest in purchasing any other items or, they just want to abuse you because their parcel was not left by the contractor and it’s a complete inconvenience to come and pick it up.

    In summary, due to the labour requirements, OH&S risk’s, storage issues etc. I would only recommend signing on if there is a decent commision to begin with. Then if they do happen to make that extra purchase at least it’s cream not compensation.

    And just in case you are wondering, we are open 74hrs (7 days) a week, parcels can be picked up anytime during opening hours, we are high street with parking out the front and have huge available storage. I still consider this the worst part of having an LPO.


  • 13 Mark Fletcher // May 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM


    There will be a non Tower version for others available through the free Tower eziPass software.

    Associations have no compliance mechanism. They should not engage in commercial activity. Tower represents more newsagents.


  • 14 Blake // May 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Nice concept Mark.

    Don raises some good points, but the Aust Post 24/7 parcel lockers will probably leave this for dead. Would have been great 5-10 years ago.

    Plus it raises other concerns. How will the newsagent deal with the multitude of parcel deliveries from both postal and couriers. And if an agency is also a LPO do you know if this conflicts with those agreements (i.e. can a newsagency be both a LPO and Parcel Point agent?)

    Finally as a consumer – only having $100 of “coverage” worries me. Majority of parcels I get are worth well above that amount. Any post/courier insurance will be over the minute it’s handed over to the newsagency.

    So does the newsagency foot the bill for lost goods, parcel point, or the consumer?


  • 15 JONO // May 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Totally agree with you Jon, i used to work in a LPO for 3 years, the people only picked up stuff but not buying stuff, that’s the problem.


  • 16 Mark Fletcher // May 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    It is easy to say why something will fail and harder to make successes.


  • 17 Brendan // May 1, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    The parcel post lockers are just glorified private boxes and are limited to what they will hold. Parcel delivery is a HUGE GROWTH service as we all know so it would be foolish to ignore an opportunity. I would expect it to pay much better than what LPO’s currently receive so rather than can the initiative lets look at it in a positive way. I left the postal industry years ago to join an industry that would reward forward and individual thinkers and operators. Did I get it wrong???? Some of these posts would suggest so. So much whinging about Australia Post and then so many negative attitudes when the fight is taken up to them, go figure why segments of this industry are a basket case while others improve. As for the insurance aspect AP services have minimal resposibility for lost or damaged items unless you pay for extra insurance, I expect we would be no different. At least look into it and get some answers by following it up with Parcel Point.


  • 18 david backholer // May 1, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    I am not one to use Ezipass or whatever you call it and to say that the Associations do not have any compliance methods is an outdated statement and an excuse. You know that unity is strength and to their credit the ANF are now under one umbrella.

    I find it offensive that you do not work with the Industry on this matter rather than go your own self interest way.


  • 19 Paul // May 1, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Actually AP is about to overhall the entire parcel delivery system including extended hours pick ups and is already in contracts with the two biggest parcel handlers in Australia (as well as Ebay Aus fairly saturated) so can’t really see this making a big dent. It would however be beneficial if the costs are low and at least allow some extra in store purchaser traffic is generated. My only other real caution would be similar to Jons in be aware of your space and security requirements and be very aware (and this is assuming this new service will also handle parcels of a similar nature to AP) that there are increasing numbers of very large and heavy items.

    I find with having the LPO attached that probably 1 in 3 “parcel pickeruperers” spend some sort of money in the store on their visit so it wouldn’t be a total waste. The far greater income of course is also derived from those lodging parcels and using AP services which is also visibly also linked to those same customers also spending something in the newsagancy, particularly during Xmas and some of the other seasonal celebrations.

    BTW I allow parcel and carded PO box pick up whenever my door is open even if my Post counter is closed.


  • 20 Paul // May 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM


    While I’m neither for or against this initiative, but rather interested to see what it actually amounts to and the form it takes, I’ve got to say that I haven’t seen alot of similar initiative from the associations in my shortish time in the industry so far.

    Mark runs a commercial business so why wouldn’t he spruik something he has obviously worked on in isolation from the Associations ? Surely they have had opportuniites to do similar (QNF has organised a very useful photocopier deal previously in all fairness too !). I would imagine he would have had even more commercial benefit by just keeping this within the NewsXpress banner stores (of which I’m not one).

    Seems like your damned if you do, damned if you don’t in this industry sometimes.


  • 21 Brendan // May 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    david, I have noticed the associations falling over themselves to encourage this type of initiative, NOT. Bill Express showed the folly trusting the associations too fully. At least this initiative of Marks is cost free as it appears it will be integrated into software a lot of us already use and requires no outlay for hardware. Some one does something for the industry and gets shit canned for the effort?? Says a lot about some in the industry!!!!!


  • 22 Mark Fletcher // May 1, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    David, I put more of my money into associations and ‘the industry’ every year than most so don’t lecture me on this.

    The associations do not have any mechanism of compliance. That’s a fact.

    The associations do not represent all newsagents. That’s a fact.

    Business is business. Gee if I follow your logic all the investments I make for newsagents through my tower software should be gifted to associations.

    ParcelPoint is an excellent commercial initiative, an opportunity, for newsagents. It’s fresh traffic and fresh revenue – if you’re a glass is half full kind of person.


  • 23 SHAUN S // May 1, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    if it is cost free and no contract i am all for it i have already emailed about it so i am looking forward to finding out more about it .
    One concern i see is space i have a huge back room so for me not a problem but i noticed when we where looking at buying a newsagency very rarley do you see an agency with any kind of back room at all


  • 24 Derek // May 1, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Looks good. Another example of diversity and being proactive for the Newsagency channel.

    For some people this would be ideal, particularly when items are left at Government Owned Post Offices and can pick it up outside of the hours currently operated.

    This alternative is great for some customers and great for Newsagents, extra foot traffic will bring sales.


  • 25 peter stewart // May 2, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    jon (#12) raises some good questions, i registered my interest and am looking forward to hearing more.
    i dont care where this idea came from, if it is going to be good for my business…. Im in.


  • 26 rick // May 2, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    good work Mark, I have registered my interest and will look at it with an open mind. Thats all Im being asked to do, not that hard really.
    Cant work out why anyone would be so negative about this with so few details having been released yet, just have a good honest look at the proposal and see if it will work for you or not.
    There is no room for the assoc on deals like this, because they will want a cut of the pie, and that cut will come from our share. Mark gets his cut from the pie in that its a good selling point for his Tower products.
    Bet David is grumpy about the oz7 jackpot next week because it will be too busy in his shop on that day, just cant help the glass half empty types.
    We need new and diverse revenue streams like this one, well done Mark.
    I will look at it and make my own decision based on how it fits in with MY business.


  • 27 david backholer // May 2, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Mark. You have misread what I said.
    I believe the Newsagency channel as a whole is bigger than you or Towers and an initiative like this should be seen as an opportunity for all Newsagents not just members of the Association as you put it, members of Towers..
    Sometimes Mark it pays to be a team player ratther than a part in the jig saw that does not fit the complete bill.

    We will agree to dissagree that the National cause in the ANF is bigger than you or me and right now they need all the support they can muster for US as awhole.


  • 28 Mark Fletcher // May 2, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    David, It’s Tower, not Towers as a select few call it.

    This is a commercial offer in a commercial world. It is reasonable that I make the offer as I have.

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with associations nor should it. They exist to represent newsagents on policy, not commercial matters.


  • 29 Jeff // May 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    What are you smoking Mr Backholer? No we do not want associations involved in anything like this. They have stuffed publisher contracts many times over. Don’t get them near this.

    With you 100% mark.


  • 30 david backholer // May 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Jeff and Mark

    You are not only inconsiderate of the Industry as a whole but you are totally ignorant of what Associations need right now in that they need to act for all Newsagents Australia wide.

    It hurts me to see people like you Jeff play insults and speak about matters you know little about.

    We need to collectively band together and undertake tasks for the Industry not just for a select few for us to survive.

    I am not going to respond further and if you cannot come to grips with reality and my perspective on this subject for which I have a right to explain and view then I feel for your future.


  • 31 Bavid Backholer // May 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    I should add that I am not critising the initiative of Mark but rather its execution.


  • 32 rick // May 2, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    ” and if you cannot come to grips with reality and my perspective on this subject”

    not sure the two are connected somehow


  • 33 shaun s // May 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    well David i welcome your comments , although i am on Marks side as far as the anf’s and qnf’f of the world have nothing to do with it . I like reading both positive and negative comments , if we only ever agreed with Mark this blog site would be quite boring not that i like seeing people personally attacking each other but more to having a debate .

    The problem i see with associations is that no one really knows what they do or what they should do
    I personally do not feel they should have any involvment with issues like this (as in making deals) but i do feel that they should be looking into it for us to see if it is as good as Mark says . Just like we rely on them to meet up with the guys and girls with paper compants and magazine companys this should be no different


  • 34 Brendan // May 2, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    David, do half as much as Mark does for the industry and your views might stand up to some credibility.


  • 35 SHAUN S // May 2, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Brendan if you are going to put it that way no one on here should make any comments


  • 36 Ben // May 2, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Mark, what is the commision per parcel? did I miss this?


  • 37 P // May 2, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    And Brendan you do ???????????


  • 38 David Backholer // May 2, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Brendon. -You are so out of touch with reality that I could turn your statement around and say the same thing to you. But I will not do that because I have ethics.

    I am allowed to state my views in case you did not know.
    I will leave you with one other comment and that is this site is censored. I posted a reply that was not shown on this thread. Wonder where it is ?

    Thanks Shaun. Whilst I do not always agree with your comments you at least see reason and fairness.

    This Industry needs unity and it needs new businesses available to all Newsagents Australia wide so how can this supposed service be seen as Universal when our first port of call should encompass the ANF and its Associations.


  • 39 Paul // May 2, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Ben @ 35

    I think that’s the question that everyone will be wanting to know. I would also be interested to see which courier/shipping companies will be linked to this service.

    From my own side of things I need to confirm whether having an in conjunction Post Office will rule me out from applying (which I suspect it may ! ) particularly if there’s no cost involved.


  • 40 David Backholer // May 2, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Yeah, as I thought.
    No one has the right to state their views on this site as I have had two posts withdrawn.


  • 41 Nicole // May 2, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    wish there was a like button! I am willing to research it before I comment .


  • 42 Mark Fletcher // May 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Sorry to disappoint you David. There is no conspiracy here. You have used two different email addresses today. The messages which did not go through were from an email address you have not used here before. The first comment from an email address the blogging software does not recognise is put in moderation – you would have received this message on the screen.

    So, David, no comments withdrawn as you claim. BTW you know me better than to make such a claim.


  • 43 Mike // May 2, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Please don’t stop posting David they’re are so few good comedies on TV these days and your posts are hilarious.

    ‘You are so out of touch with reality that I could turn your statement around and say the same thing to you. But I will not do that because I have ethics.’ is probably my personaly favourite.

    I would say you are making a fool of yourself David but I have ethics.

    The reason the channel is incapable of unity is clearly shown in this thread. Half the channel is willing to embarace new opporunities while the rest just want to shoot down anything new that comes along as they have already given up.


  • 44 murray // May 3, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    How about everyone take a chill pill !


  • 45 rick // May 3, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    this whole thing is a commercial arrangement brokered by a businessman, what the heck has that got to do with any association. Mark is fully entitled to offer this deal to whoever he likes, its a deal he took the time, cost and energy to broker.
    To think mark (or anyone) for that matter is obligated to hand over commercial arrangement to everyone else in the industry is just plain stupid. I would imagine mark has no financial arrangement with parcelpoint, other than making his software products more attractive to prospective purchasers. That makes perfect sense to me, since when dows mark owe the industry as a whole anything, he is doing what we all do, look after out customers and try to win customers from opposition busnesses.
    I use Tower products, i appreciate the work mark does for the industry as a whole, but i dont always agree with his position, i do on the occaision. I will look at the deal, and then make up my mind as to how it fits in with my business.
    well done mark and tower


  • 46 David Backholer // May 3, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Well maybe the Industry as a whole through the ANF will come out with a “Newsagency” package for a similar package very soon.
    That then will be representative for all Newsagents to access. The customer can then rely on the “chain” to go into any Newsagent to receive their parcel.
    My point is that sometimes ones personal “business” interests should reach out to the entire network through the ANF after their Due diligence.


  • 47 rick // May 3, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    im an ANF member, i dont want the ANF involved in commercial deals, they have a very poor record, and they will want a financial gain out of it, whick will come at newsagents expense.
    Even if the ANF did come out with a package, would it be availalbe to non members???? and if is was, what would be the incentive to be a financial member if benefits where made available to non members as well.


  • 48 John // May 3, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    My last experience with the ANF doing Due diligence to benifit the entire network was their involvement in Bill Express. The selling tactics used by their sales people hurt a lot of Newsagents and lost the ANF a lot of respect.


  • 49 Luke // May 3, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    David, I’m not in the ANF after the bill express mess so to say “The customer can then rely on the “chain” to go into any Newsagent to receive their parcel.” isn’t going to happen as I will not touch anything the anf does with a barge pole, and I’m sure I’m not the only newsagent that thinks like this.
    The anf does not represent the industry it represents only a shrinking few.
    In saying that, this offer is not my cup of tea, as it is another offer that is more of a service then a point of difference and I’m tired of offering services for no real benefit to my bottom line see dry cleaning, stamps, bill payments, public phone cards, transport tickets the list goes on. For me to be interested it would have to offer me $$$$


  • 50 Brendan // May 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    P, the point is that Mark does a lot for the industry and cops this critisism from people for not doing it the way they want? Let them do something themselves if they can do it better!!


  • 51 Brendan // May 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    David, I have had the same issue when using a new email address. I got the same response from Mark and the posts did appear once the email address was validated.


  • 52 Mark // May 3, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    David, you are an idiot! I am not going to waste my time writing anything more than that.


  • 53 Davo // May 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    David Backs, please advise What Have You Done For Me Lately???


  • 54 shaun s // May 3, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    that just made me have a good ol chuckle to myslef


  • 55 shaun s // May 4, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Paper work filled in and sent back , i feel all is ok in the fine print . Has anyone else read it and what do they think ? Section #4 would be my only concern , my only problem with this may be that once it is up and running and it is working well they could make us pay a fee to be part of it (well thats how i read it )


  • 56 Brendan // May 4, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Davo, I wish I’d said that!!


  • 57 Brendan // May 4, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Section #4 would be a moment of truth for all parties if enforced. Service working for us?
    Pay the fee if it is reasonable. Service not working for us? Bail out time. Its probably a great opportunity to assess the service and the fact that we are not locked in gives me confidence that this clause is fair.
    I’ll be submitting paper work as soon as I fill it out.


  • 58 Mark Fletcher // May 4, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    I looked at this carefully before getting behind it. I think the opportunity is timely and the barrier to entry for newsagents negligible.


  • 59 Keith // May 4, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    This is a smart move. Thanks for the opportunity Mark. Ignore David.


  • 60 Mark Fletcher // May 5, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    The thing is, through our Tower Point of Sale software and free to all eziPass electronic vending software this will be available to all newsagents.


  • 61 rick // May 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    i like the idea of 25%, but not sure what it is 25% of?? Any idea what it means in $$$ terms for doing 1 x parcel??
    i like the idea abd will be sending off the paperwork on tuesday, but trying to get a handle on what it means for the bottom line, apart from extra traffic instore.


  • 62 Brendan // May 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Rick, I made a phone call and got the answer to this which I wont disclose as it is not my place to do so. Give them a ring and you will find them very open about the future and the service. I will say its worth a lot more to me than selling a newspaper.


  • 63 rick // May 5, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    thx brendan


  • 64 John Sisam // Jun 25, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Has the change to Ezipass to incorporate ParcelPoint become available yet?


  • 65 Shaun s // Jun 25, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    I have finished all the training and I am told I have no been activated but there has never been a mention of ezipass or TOwer in any conversations or emails . Have I missed something ?


  • 66 Mark Fletcher // Jun 26, 2012 at 4:10 AM

    Nothing to do with Ezipass. You will acces this through the Tower software.

    Hundreds of newsagents have signed up … creating a network.


  • 67 SHAUN S // Jun 26, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    Mark at what point does it hook up with the Tower software , as i mentioned before they have not said i need to do any more than just wait for the parcels to start arriving .


  • 68 Mark Fletcher // Jun 26, 2012 at 6:20 AM

    You’ll hear about it through Tower.


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