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

Worst newsagency supplier of 2018: Gordon and Gotch

I nominate magazine distributor Gordon and Gotch as the worst newsagent supplier of 2018. I do this on the basis of:

  1. A broken magazine supply model that results in failure every month with between 30% and 50% of what is sent as not selling. This wastes newsagent capital, time and space. Gotch people will say this is the fault of the publishers who control print runs. I don’t care. Gotch is the supplier to newsagents.
  2. Poor communication.
  3. Poor customer service. Often non existent. Newsagents have to spend too much time using inefficient systems at Gotch – phone and email – to get simple queries answered.
  4. Poor tech infrastructure that makes it hard for newsagents to proactively trade on new titles. I am tired of excuses by Gotch representatives on this.
  5. Disinterest. The impression newsagents tell me have is that when it comes to Gotch, newsagents feel they don’t care.
  6. Poor commercial value to a newsagency business. The poor margin, couples with a broken supply model and a high labour cost for newsagents on dealing with queries drives this poor value.

Feel free to nominate any other company or agree or disagree with my post.

FOOTNOTE: A Jan 1, 2019 reflection: Why am I so hard on Gotch? Because they have had decades to get this right. They are a cornerstone supplier in a cornerstone category. Newsagents used to be their exclusive customers for print media products. Now, ur channel is one of several. While we have more competition, Gotch has less, and we are the worst off for it.

The position of Gotch in the channel, their size, their market dominance mean we ought expect more from them. In 2018, we got less. This is leading newsagents to exit magazines.

magazine distribution

Join the discussion

  1. Steve Bloom

    Tower Business Systems.

    Leadership are so cowardly.


  2. Peter

    Mark re GG you are spot on. However another supplier the one owned by Newsagents should be up their in equal first place.


  3. Colin

    IPS scores as badly as GG on all categories plus has a dishonest returns system. I spend each month working around IPS to keep a few titles that customers expect at same time managing my stress levels.

    I would also nominate a certain courier business but am unable to name it.

    Difficult competition when IPS sets the bar so low.





  5. Shayne

    What irks me the most is when shortages are reported (ie, every Monday and Thursday) their automatic response is to call you a liar and refuse credits unless you confirm for a second time that the titles were in fact missing.


  6. Glenn

    There is, sadly, quite some jostling for the bottom position in terms of the suppliers value to newsagents. However I think it is fair to acknowledge the effort put in by G&G to maintain their status as the worst supplier our industry has, and the lengths they have gone to to hold this crown for many years, despite the efforts of the likes of IPS.

    For the first time in 20 years I am seriously considering removing magazines entirely because of these inefficiencies and that we make not 1 cent on our efforts to manage the category.


  7. Michael

    I see Gotch, I see IPS, I even see couriers mentioned but not one mention of Tatts ?

    Happy new years btw everyone!


  8. John

    Recently a Nursing Home called and asked me to supply 90 Puzzle Books (5 titles) as Christmas presents to residents.

    Called G&G Call Centre, submitted an order, staff were very helpful, received every item I requested.

    Congratulations to G&G who enabled me to make a $550 sale easy sale, with maybe 10 minutes work at our end.

    Do we receive more Mags than needed? Yes, then XIT immediate return, then Surplus Mags in Bin.


  9. Mark Fletcher

    John, while your story is good, it is rare in my experience. Gotch can do better, by delivering on previous promises.


  10. Henry Henderson

    John, nobody is complaining about GG’s acting in their own interest. In this case it’s good to see a Newsagent got something out of it as well.

    What we are complaining about is that they oversupply in their own interest at newsagents’ expense (and the small publishers as well). Over supply is deliberate policy from which GG profit.

    I often wonder what the public would think if it knew that nearly half of magazines sent to newsagents are dumped into the environment unread through a scheme whereby a company can profit through being deliberately inefficient.


  11. Peter

    By God Sir John, the 02 01 2019 and already you are claiming troll of the year. How can I back you rise to the everlasting Glory.


  12. Alan

    All sad comments … are there any suppliers who may get the thumbs up (in the right way)?


  13. Colin


    I could name dozens who get the thumbs up but many I prefer to keep to myself and not assist others in finding them. One I will mention is Independent Studios, been with many years, they get better and better.


  14. Steve

    IS are great at design and packaging. Quality of product and competitive pricing not so much.


  15. John Pennells

    I always check their magazine search for UK magazine that I purchase monthly, when the Nov. 2019 copy did not appear I contacted them direct as my newsagent could get no sense out of them only to be told that they had no copies in their warehouse even though their search site had shown the mag had been in stock a week earlier. My newsagent has a standing order for 2 copies and further I checked 5 other newsagents and none had received their orders.Now they have stopped their retail customers magazine search!


  16. PETER

    And now the magazine delivery drivers don’t take returns! for this reason i will down size my magazine run again.


  17. Mark

    I unfortunately worked for G&G, over 20yrs ago in the call centre, complaints centre I should say. It severely “sucked”,& I honestly felt sorry for the n’agents, I can’t believe any of them are still in business.


    • Enchanted Wizard of Rythmn

      I also worked for G&G and Fairfax. At my job in Fairfax I had daily contact with newsagents and what I took away from both jobs is the absolute distain in which newsagents are held. How the relationship is completely one-sided. Quite disturbing the power in-balance and how it is never likely to change. I felt bad for most of the newsagents we dealt with. Except Susan (from a suburb that the Pacific Highway passes through) she was a b!#@h.


  18. Mark Fletcher

    Mark, we’re in business because we rely less on magazines today. Thanks for sharing your experience.


  19. Mark

    The late 80’s & I think they termed it “Deregulation” when Southdown Press (probably others)began supplying supermarkets, was the death-knell for the Newsagent. No more MONOPOLY.


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