Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Officeworks pushing hard for Back to School

Mark Fletcher
November 28th, 2016 · 1 Comment

IMG_1095Officeworks is making their usual big noise about back to school for the 2017 year. Their centrepiece claim is the price match offer – to beat the price on a booklist by 20%.

Many schools enter into booklist fulfilment arrangements as a means of raising funds for the school. Parents buying outside the preferred arrangement can reduce funds available to the school, meaning they may end up paying the gap through other fees.

This is why I see the Officeworks 20% discount offer as being false economy. It all depends on the school funding arrangement in place with the booklist partner, which is often a local family run newsagency business that invests back in the school and the community.

Newsagents doing booklist fulfilment work need to more actively talk about their financial support for the school and the community – to counter the Officeworks 20% saving claim.

Discounts by big businesses come at a cost somewhere but I suspect usually not at a cost to the big business. We hear about the pressure supermarkets place on farmers and other suppliers – they fund the supermarket discounts that the supermarkets claim to give to consumers.

This 20% discount offer by Officeworks on school booklist items feels like that – a discount that is not real as someone somewhere ends up paying for it. It could be the parents who actually pay over the course of the year.

My advice to newsagents doing booklists and who offer a rebate or other benefit to the school – be open about this, let parents know the good being done by supporting your business.

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Category: Competition · Newsagency challenges · Stationery

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 john mills // Nov 28, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    My school doesn’t receive a commission from book list companies. Schools should disclose this when they endorse a firm.

    In the same manner the Apple/PC recommendations should disclose if a soft commission is paid to school of “in-kind” support.

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