Australian Newsagency Blog

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

When a newsagent supplier says: I’ve got a perfect product for you

Mark Fletcher
February 24th, 2016 · 3 Comments

I’ve got the perfect product for you, it’s perfect for newsagencies.

Rarely is this statement following by a pitch for a product that is perfect for my newsagency.

I am so over suppliers assuming they know what we should sell. I am over suppliers pigeonholing newsagents and their businesses in a way that denies smart newsagents the opportunity to genuinely change their businesses.

Many suppliers do not know today’s engaged and growing newsagency. Many don;t want to know as they have built their businesses around serving businesses rooted in the 1970s and 1980s. It is 2016 folks. Average sale value is way up, GPO is way up. What we can sell has changed forever and this is because many of us are buying from suppliers who to not look at our businesses as selling what newsagent can sell.

I am not angry at suppliers, just frustrated that they have not seen the change in many newsagencies, that they themselves are rooted in the past.

I’d prefer suppliers to start a conversation by saying tell me about your business and what you sell.

I met a supplier yesterday in Sydney who was like this. Their average wholesale price point is $100.00. Their products are unique, not newsagency like. This was a big plus for me as I am keen to continue to push the definition of my business through the products I range. This is one of the reasons why I do not want suppliers to see me as a newsagent as that locks me in a box that does not work for me or for my customers.

So, if you are a supplier reading this, consider a new opening approach:

  • Tell me about your business today – who you sell to and what you are looking for.
  • Tell me about the changes you are planning.
  • Tell me more about your customers.

The answers to these questions should guide a more productive discussion and relationship for both businesses.

Stop putting newsagents in boxes as that box marked newsagent or newsagency is crumbling fast. It has no future – the old school newsagency that is. The future, for the record, is bright and exciting.


Category: Newsagency management · newsagency marketing · Newsagent suppliers

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Hamish // Feb 24, 2016 at 4:36 PM

    Good to catch up with you Mark in Sydney, was definitely a good fair for us with many new suppliers and product lines.
    When faced with the standard question from wholesalers “So what sort of business do you have?” I used to struggle to define what we do. This was because of the stereotyping a question like this is designed for and leads to.
    I ended up settling on calling our business a “Lifestyle Store”. The difference in reaction by wholesalers to this response is immediate and vast. “Newsagent” as a business description by comparison definitely invoked a sense of the great unwashed from many non traditional suppliers, it created immediate barriers.
    We sell newsagent lines but they are only a percentage of what we do – and that percentage has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and continues at pace.

    We are a Lifestyle Store that refuses to be catergorised by a shingle or stereotyped by other business they we have no relation to.


  • 2 eric // Feb 24, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    when they know you are newsagent , most of them will not offer to introduce their products. Too bad, they lost my business and i am buying from my group preffered suppliers who know what we want and what we can sell.


  • 3 Brendan // Feb 25, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    It’s definitely time for a new “Shingle”


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