Australian Newsagency Blog

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

What if you spent your energy on this instead…

Mark Fletcher
April 26th, 2018 · 18 Comments

Considerable time is spent by some newsagents on lotteries – fighting Tatts, fighting competitors, dealing with onerous shop-fit requirements, arguing about digital screens for which there is no commercial proof of value, competing with the growing number of outlets selling the same products, competing with online.

What if all that time, worry and money was invested in alternative products and services for the business?

If you follow the trajectory of online revenue as a percentage of all lottery revenue for Tatts at some point newsagents with Tatts will need an alternative traffic source.

Thinking about this now, thinking about how to find new traffic, can be positive for the business as you could develop a plan that is more sustainable for the business.

I know it is possible to run a business in the newsagency channel without Tatts. I have three. There are plan ty, too, running successful newsagencies with Tatts.

I sold my newsagency with Tatts over six years ago. I can’t see myself taking on one with Tatts in the future. I like the freedom, not having to submit to rules that do not benefit my business, being responsible for all foot traffic.

I get that others prefer the certain Tatts traffic. However, with that comes obligation that is often not commercially valuable.

Hence, my question / challenge:

What if all that time, worry and money was invested in alternative products and services for the business?

What if… that is all I am posing here. I am not advocating. Rather, I am posing a question, which I hope will get you thinking and rechecking with your own opinion. Regardless of where you land, it is good to check in with your opinion, to challenge yourself.

Reading here and elsewhere, the energy spent doing what Tatts wants, arguing with them and complaining about them is considerable. What could life be like if you were freed from that?

The challenge I put here is somewhat like the challenge years ago of getting out of newspaper home delivery. Early adopters saw the benefits and this put them ahead on restructuring their businesses. Those who came late to the decision did not benefit as much. I wonder is that will be the case with over the counter lottery sales.

So, all I want to achieve today is to have you ask the question of yourself, to have you imagine what the alternative would look like in your business. What you decide is 100% your decision.

14 likes

Category: Newsagency management · newsagency of the future

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Colin, Malvern SA // Apr 26, 2018 at 10:06 AM

    Have considered getting rid of lottery many times. It is a formidable task. Removing the most profitable per square metre part of the business, replacing with unknown new lines, incurring added fit out costs, losing customers not just for me but for the centre.

    Why contemplate it? Because our growth is all in gifts which are over 50% of our income,, 75% with cards and wrap. This growth is now hampered by the rest of the business. There is custom that we cannot access because either suppliers will not supply or customers will not buy from what some still perceive is a newsagency.

    To exit lottery for us is to effectively complete the exit of newsagency, to rename and eliminate the legacy products, especially stationery and papers.

    Can it be done I ask myself, I am not sure it can. There is one easier solution and it is the one you took. Sell the business with the lottery and buy another without it and the other newsagency lines we have successfully exited.

    4 likes

  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Apr 26, 2018 at 11:39 AM

    Colin, this statement in your comment – There is one easier solution and it is the one you took. Sell the business with the lottery and buy another without it and the other newsagency lines we have successfully exited. – Each business I have today has been a start-up, empty shell. I chose to include selected traditional lines such as magazines, papers and stationery.

    1 likes

  • 3 Factory Worker // Apr 28, 2018 at 3:14 AM

    Mark you have previously said that your high street newsagency was an existing “traditional” newsagency that you bought and transformed.

    Not a start up.

    0 likes

  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Apr 28, 2018 at 7:28 AM

    “Factory” when did I say that? The business was closed, went broke. It never was a traditional newsagency. It was called Katies Cards and Gifts, for years. However it did sell some magazines and papers. I bought the empty shell – no business, no stock, no name.

    So, “Factory” when did I say it was a traditional newsagency as you claim?

    1 likes

  • 5 Factory Worker // Apr 28, 2018 at 7:41 AM

    In one of your posts. Do I really have to trawl through it when you have just confirmed it in the comment above?

    0 likes

  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Apr 28, 2018 at 8:58 AM

    “Factory” yes, you do. You have made the claim. You should prove it. I say I have never said that my said that high street newsagency was an existing “traditional” newsagency that I bought and transformed. Since you have claimed it, prove it.

    4 likes

  • 7 Factory Worker // Apr 28, 2018 at 2:16 PM

    Mark you admitted as much in comment four…. It was a card shop that sold newspapers and magazines.

    You detail it here
    https://www.newsagencyblog.com.au/2017/05/06/the-suburban-newsagency-card-department/

    If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

    0 likes

  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Apr 28, 2018 at 2:27 PM

    “Factory” you are wrong. The facts are that the business was closed and had been for weeks. We purchased fixtures. The prior business was Katies Cards and Gifts. It was not a Newsagency. We took the fixtures, that is all. We stacked it with stock from scratch.

    At no point ever have I claimed it was a high street traditional newsagency. I don’t know why you are making this stuff up.

    The high street and shopping centre businesses were start ups plain and simple.

    1 likes

  • 9 Factory Worker // Apr 28, 2018 at 2:36 PM

    Ok Mark, you are right and I was wrong…. I know that is what you want to hear.

    However can you at least admit that you got the name of the previous business wrong?

    It use to be called “Katies cards and records”
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Katies-Cards-and-Records/128771517174482

    0 likes

  • 10 Mark Fletcher // Apr 28, 2018 at 2:42 PM

    All I want “factory” is for you to not say I said something when I did not.

    Oh, gosh, it was Katies Cards and Records … sorry for that.

    I am guessing you have no evidence of your earlier claim against me.

    #pathetic

    4 likes

  • 11 Factory Worker // Apr 28, 2018 at 2:51 PM

    What part of “you are right and I was wrong” didn’t you understand?

    #usingahastagbecauseitsdownwiththekids

    0 likes

  • 12 Mark Fletcher // Apr 28, 2018 at 2:54 PM

    Oh, FFS, “Factory”. Here is what you said: Ok Mark, you are right and I was wrong…. I know that is what you want to hear.

    You said it because you think you know what I want to hear, when you do not.

    This is all very ridiculous. Truth matters as does the original post. Now, if you can’t add to the original post, go away, take your obsessions elsewhere.

    4 likes

  • 13 Factory Worker // Apr 28, 2018 at 3:10 PM

    Truth matters…..

    There was a card shop that sold newspapers, magazines and some other stuff in that location for 30 plus years.

    It went into administration.

    A couple of weeks later you reopened it as a card shop that sells newspapers, magazines and some other stuff.

    It was a start up.

    0 likes

  • 14 Mark Fletcher // Apr 28, 2018 at 3:19 PM

    No, “Factory” once again you are making stuff up.

    There was a shop that sold cards, music, show tickets, papers and a selection of magazines. It went broke and closed.

    We took on the shell and opened a card and gift shop that sells three newspaper titles and no magazines, no stationery.

    Music took up around a third of the old business floor space. We have no music. Ticket sales sets took top around 15% of their floor space. We have no tickets. magazines and papers took up around 10% of their floorspace. Papers in our business take up less than 2%. In terms of gifts, there is not a single gift in the business today similar to what the old business had.

    If you cannot add genuine value to the conversation, which you don’t because you use a fake name, go away.

    8 likes

  • 15 Nameandshamethetrolls // Apr 28, 2018 at 4:46 PM

    You are a dead set flog Factory Worker. Whinge whinge whinge, go somewhere else to type your dribble you oxygen thief.

    6 likes

  • 16 Factory Worker // Apr 28, 2018 at 5:32 PM

    If you cannot add genuine value to the conversation, which you don’t because you use a fake name, go away.

    0 likes

  • 17 Nameandshamethetrolls // Apr 28, 2018 at 5:55 PM

    Oh so clever FW, it’s just dawned on me what your initials really stand for.

    3 likes

  • 18 Factory Worker // Apr 28, 2018 at 6:17 PM

    You showed me. Got me a good one.

    #burn

    0 likes

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