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

Being a convenience newsagency involves more than putting in a drinks fridge

cstoresydThe traditional Aussie newsagency has all but disappeared from Sydney’s CBD. In their place, and in far greater number, we have convenience stores. It seems that every block of Sydney’s CBD has two or three convenience stores.

These convenience stores all look the same – they have (overall) the same range, the same prices and offer the same service.

While it would easy to criticise the convenience stores in Sydney as lacking an Australian-ness and not covering anything like the range in a newsagency, they own their space and serve a need. They must be successful given their number.

Thinking about these convenience stores and newsagencies that have taken on convenience retail yet retained a newsagency focus, I find myself wondering about the competitive positioning. Being a convenience store is its own thing: you are chasing shoppers with little time who are in your store primarily because of your location. While destination purchases are up, the mix of what you sell is very different that of a more traditional newsagency.

Newsagents competing with or considering competing with the growing number of convenience stores and their strong banner groups need to think carefully about their own business, they need to decide whether they fully embrace the convenience model opportunity. They need to decide if they are prepared to become a convenience store and stop being a newsagency.

While I am no expert in the convenience space, I don’t think it is something you can half do. You’re either a convenience focused business or not.

If you are a convenience focused business then it informs all your business decisions: ranging, pricing, displays, customer service. This is where the business plan would diverge from the traditional newsagency business plan, it is why newsagents who see themselves as operating a convenience business – in the true sense of that type of business – need to fully embrace it.

Now for clarity I want to note that I am not talking about newsagencies that are convenient because of parking. No, to me, a convenience business is one located for high volume foot traffic, open long hours – into the night – and covering a brand range of consumer products plsu with little or no emphasis on circulation product.

Convenience retail

Join the discussion

  1. June

    We don’t have 7/11s all over Adelaide – just a couple in the city but SS are our
    convenience stores and they are doing
    extremely well but they are open 24/7.
    Newsagencies cannot compete with that.
    I’ve noticed that the Melb. 7/11s cater for
    the apartment buildings’ occupants both coming home and going to work.
    Adelaide doesn’t have the population to support that but I find it interesting to observe.
    Did anyone hear on Media Watch last night that the demise of the FF (and News)
    newspapers during the week was supposed to be imminent.
    Paul Barry BALANCED his story with a 20 second grab at the end which said that there were two new newspapers entering the market so maybe all was not lost.
    The whole story was a little depressing although not unexpected.


  2. Mark Fletcher

    June the Media Watch story is what we’ve been living re newspapers. We cannot rely on newspapers for future traffic. The newsagencies closing tend to be those not generating their own traffic.


  3. Marco

    I have a site to put a newsagency in Adelaide who do I ring to get the ball rolling can anyone help?


  4. June

    Marco, I have a retail newsagency in the
    eastern suburbs of Adelaide in a shopping centre. Do you want to buy or are you
    starting from the ground up.
    If you want to ring me to ask me any questions I am available on 83797578
    or email me at jasscar@bigpond.com


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