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

Too many newsagents don’t know what they can sell in their businesses

A colleague newsagent had a customer waiting for them when they opened the shop at 6am Monday this week. The customer has driven almost half an hour to be at the store at opening time to purchase an item priced at $349.00. They wanted to ensure they got the item.

So, by around 6:05am, the business had completed the $349.00 sale and racked up $175.00 in gross profit. That is more than the business will make from newspapers in the day and close to what they will make from magazines in the day. From one purchase.

What a terrific story on several fronts: that the customer was there at the opening of the shop, that they had driven half an hour and that they would tell others about their experience.

This is the newsagency of the future is, a retail business allowing specialist sought-after products to define the business more so than the shingle, a business being unafraid to stock items way outside what is usual for a ‘newsagency’.

Way too often newsagents tell me they cannot sell expensive items in their businesses. Most times I hear this the newsagent making the comment has not tried more expensive items, they have not created the story in-store to ensure success with ore expensive items.

My message today is that what we can sell in our businesses is way outside what we think we can sell.

I know of newsagency businesses that have closed because the owners have not experimented beyond the barriers they established themselves for their businesses.

I appreciate it is tough to make such a move as it means ditching being an agent, becoming a retailer and trying products about which you probably have little knowledge. All it would take is someone you have never seen in your shop visiting and spending hundreds of dollars on an item once for you to tear down your barriers and seek out more on these opportunities.

The newsagent who achieved the $349.00 sale on Monday did so on the back of a special event they ran on the weekend that attracted plenty of new shoppers, some people travelling two hours to be there.

Gone are the days of you thinking about your newsagency as serving a territory.

This is a new borderless world. Attracting shoppers starts with buying beyond what is traditional for the business.

There is growth out there for the taking.

Newsagency challenges

Join the discussion

  1. Jagg

    You get that kind of sale in gifts once in a blue moon;
    you get paper sales day in and day out. The key is to have the balance right, the paper and lotto sales are the most important part of the mix.


  2. Mark Fletcher

    Jagg I get this kind of sale between four and seven times a week.


  3. Colin


    For 9 out 10 days our top 2 gift buyers will generate more gross profit than the whole day sales of magazines and papers. Be bold !


  4. James

    Our gift department now generates the same gp as the magazine dept, consistently weekly monthly annually, for one tenth the work, one tenth the grief, and far more flexible credit terms. No brainer.


  5. Sam

    Hello everyone,
    I am new new agency and Tatts retailer. Since being new I am not sure about much of suppliers around and what other items can be sold. Previously, store was running in loss since it was only operational for couple of days during the week. I will really appreciate if someone can assist me in regards to providing more insight so that I can grow my business. Best of luck you all for your future and thanks in advance.


  6. Mark Fletcher

    Hi Sam, welcome to the newsagency channel.

    The first place to check is with any suppliers, like TheLott or Australia Post. If you currently represent them in your business, your agreement with them should provide guidance you need to consider.

    In the areas of the business you control, what you place there depends on shoppers nearby and those who could travel to your shop. This is where an active marketing group could look at your location, your current sales data, and provide advice or suggestions on what you could consider.

    Here is a link to a document from newsXpress, which outlines what it offers helping newsagents to evolve and grow their businesses: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e0w7vy7u2rbn94o/nx-marketing-September2021.pdf?dl=0

    I am the owner of newsXpress. I also own 4 newsagencies – two in shopping centres and two on suburban streets.


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