Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Day two of a five-day back to basics newsagency management challenge: cards

Mark Fletcher
April 29th, 2014 · 12 Comments

This week I am shining a light on five back to basics areas of our newsagency businesses over which we can make a difference for the good of our business and the benefit of our customers.

By back to basics I mean parts of our business that define us and can separate us from others.

Today, I want to challenge how you manage greeting cards.

Australian newsagents sell close to 35% of all cards sold in this country. We are the largest single retail channel. Cards giver us the best gross profit of any product we sell – depending on your deal between 50% GP and as much as as 70% GP. Cards are important to us and we are important to the category.

But are we managing cards for success?

Too many newsagents leave the running of th card department to their card spillers. This is a mistake. It’s your business, manage it.

Here are some tips for driving card sales:

  1. Put your own cards out. Stop using a merchandiser. Learn more about the product and be more helpful to your customers. Everyone working in the shop should be able to do this!
  2. Refresh your offer at least annually. Work with your main card supplier on this.
  3. Promote seasons on the floor. Do not take everyday or lifestyle cards off the wall to make way for seasons. Peple still buy these cards.
  4. Leverage licences. Cards with licenced characters sell well. Seek these out.
  5. Connect with gifts. Cards drive gift purchases and gift sales drive card purchases. Get this two-way flow right and sales will increase.
  6. Place cards and gifts together. Retail 101.
  7. Reward loyalty. Use whatever options are available to you to drive shopper loyalty.
  8. Locate your card department at the front of the shop. It attracts shoppers.
  9. Light your card department well. Make the colours pop!

Cards are vitally important to newsagents. Ignore tham and you invite shoppers to look elsewhere for their magazines.

The goal of this series of back to basics newsagency management advice is to get you revisiting parts of your business that you may not be paying enough attention to. This should help imporrove basket size, drive traffic and get you better engaged with your newsagency business.


Category: Greeting Cards · Management tip · Newsagency management · newsagency of the future

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter S // Apr 29, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Totally agree, but just today a card company makes my business more difficult to stay afloat. I was held up 4 weeks ago by a man with a shotgun. He took all the cash. Keeping a newsagency alive in a small country town is hard enough without this happening. I asked Henderson Cards to release the Mothers Day cards as we still owed $2500 they stopped our supply. They refused. Now looking for alternatives.


  • 2 allan wickham // Apr 29, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Dont muck around with them Peter, tell them you are leaving.
    After what you have been through, all suppliers should be trying to help you, especially one as important as a card company.


  • 3 Judy // Apr 29, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Hi Peter S, we are a preferred card supplier ( The Aird group). Please contact me as I would like to discuss how we could assist you with your cards. Apologies I have no reference as to what store you are from on here.

    Judy Brown


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Apr 29, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Peter sorry to hear that. There are other card suppliers worth talking to.


  • 5 Greg // Apr 30, 2014 at 6:12 AM

    I feel for the newsagency who has been held up by an idiot with a shotgun.
    However how many newsagencies are happy to continue with supply when accounts are outside agree terms. I know I am not.
    I know special circumstances but may not always apply.
    Parkes Newsagency


  • 6 BruceH // Apr 30, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Really sorry to hear about any Newsagent being affected by an armed robbery – horrible. But we have always found Hendersons to be very supportive and very reasonable to deal with. There must be some other history involved in their decision.


  • 7 Peter S // Apr 30, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    We too found Hendersons to be good to deal with, until we hit trouble. Then they were no where to be seen. The accounts dept. were inflexible and rude and did nothing to help us. I understand some Newsagencies are doing very well, I have had ours for 12 years now, but due to industry closures around the area some are not doing so well, but this is only a bump in the road and we will adapt. The situation is exactly as I wrote. As for those lucky enough to be able to stop supplies to customers due to their own terms of agreements, we would never do that and have and will carry my customers debt as most are rural and when they get paid, I get paid.

    Peter Shelley
    Rylstone Newsagency


  • 8 Gary // Apr 30, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Yes, suppliers are a fickle mob. Great mates with you until the shit hits the fan.
    Henderson tried to woo us for a long time. Promised heaps. We decided to stick with Hallmark, with whom we had developed a great relationship over the years.
    Hallmark seem to be more flexible than what you experienced, but then,I have not tested this yet. If I do maybe I will get the same result.
    Until then I am going assume that I am a valued customer and they will look after me.


  • 9 allan wickham // May 1, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    I was with Hendersons before joining newsXpress and switching to Hallmark.

    If any body gets offered “free” stock from Hendersons be very careful, it aint “free”. Cost me a lot of money to find this out the hard way…….


  • 10 Allan Wickham // May 1, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Anybody else get accused of being a “puppet” today?
    This is what I recieved after posting on this thread earlier today……

    Hi Alan

    Before you write shit on the blog get your facts straight.

    1) we only found out about the robbery after reading it on the blog.

    2) what supplier does not stop accounts if there are monies owed in arrears for many months?

    3) your comments at times reflect a puppet like nature with very little independent thought and its almost as though some one else is pulling your strings.

    Nice work from Mr Samartzis, not that I expected much else from someone from his company.



  • 11 Mark Fletcher // May 1, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Al it’s disappointing he’d write that to you but not comment here. I know you pretty well and can say with certainty – you’re no puppet.


  • 12 Allan Wickham // May 1, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    It is disappointing Mark, in fact it’s disappointing that all our industry suppliers don’t comment on the blog, we all know they read it but choose to deny that they Do. If more would openly and actively engage with us here then I’m sure that would go a long way to being beneficial to all parties. But I I suppose that would be asking them to come down from their ivory towers.


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