Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Don’t deny yourself revenue and new traffic

Mark Fletcher
July 25th, 2018 · 1 Comment

Talking with a newsagent on the weekend they commented that they could not sell a particular item in their shop as their population was the wrong demographic for it.

I was talking with them because they asked for help dealing with being in a regional location with challenges. In the conversation we explored a range of options and each was not suitable to them for different reasons.

The main concern expressed to me in the call was that their locals would not buy this or that.

I hear this often, a clear statement that locals would not buy certain items.

The only way to find out if locals will buy something, within reason, is to try it, or to at least investigate it throughly.

Investigating is what I did with the newsagent I spoke with in relation to one product category. It is a category I now well and for which I have excellent online sales data. I was able to tell the newsagent that from in their town $450.00 worth of the items had been purchased through one website in the last two months and that if I expand the reach to within an hour of their business the amount passes $1,500.00.

The newsagent was shocked. The evidence resulted in them asking questions and wondering what else locals buy that they think they would not buy.

My core point here is – don’t assume what locals will buy, as doing this could deny you certain revenue and certain new traffic for the business. Don’t contain your perspective of what works and what will work to only what you know from the past.

You can do this by working with others, talking with people outside your area, those with online experiences and other insights that could get you stepping outside what has been usual in your product mix. If you know people at the local post office that could be a good step as their insights into p-arcel delivery is often fascinating.

Tradition is out the window in retail today, especially newsagency retail. Stick with tradition and you stick with the traditional performance. Maybe traditional performance is okay for your business. If so, terrific! If not, do something.

I have written about this today with consent of the newsagent I talked to, even though I have not identified them.


Category: Newsagency challenges · Newsagency management · newsagency of the future

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Glenn // Jul 26, 2018 at 8:14 PM

    We (wife and I) have a rule now for the gift fairs that we must each buy a product/range of something we have never done nor considered before. It forces us to step outside our comfort zone and try stuff we never thought we could sell.

    As a result we have expanded into areas (furniture, art etc) where we get $300+ per item sales several times a week on outstanding margins. We had never contemplated this previously.

    You don’t know unless you have a crack at it, and never assume you know what your customers will or will not buy if you have not tried it.


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