Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Tips for driving crossword sales in the newsagency

Mark Fletcher
September 10th, 2019 · 1 Comment

The crossword segment of magazines continues to perform well in retail newsagencies. I see plenty of businesses reporting growth and those reporting decline report a lower decline for crosswords.

Crosswords respond well to in-store engagement and promotion. For a small investment of time, you can expect a lift in sales of crossword titles. Here is my current list of top engagement opportunities for a retailer with crosswords:

  1. If you have a table where shoppers can sit for a while, open a crossword and placing some pens nearby so people can engage and complete a crossword together.
  2. If you don’t have a table, set one up as this is an easy way to boost sales.
  3. Move the entire crossword segment next to weeklies. Every time we have seen this done there is a terrific sales jump.
  4. Also place crossword titles with their parent brand: Better Homes and Gardens and Australian Women’s Weekly, for example. This could be done as co-location – in addition to regular placement. I say also as this should be a secondary placement.
  5. Call out a crossword title as a staff member fave and note why with a small sign in front. This type of personal recommendation works well in book retailing.
  6. In front of top selling weeklies, place a plastic or acrylic pocket with A5 titles from the same brand as both titles are bought by the same shopper.
  7. Pitch a crossword or two at the counter.
  8. Consider a crossword themed window.
  9. Consider a crossword lovers event. It could be a simple afternoon team with the idea of them meeting each other and sharing stories. Your focus could be to thank them for their love of crosswords.
  10. Trial placing your most popular two crosswords next to daily newspapers. Count how many you place so that you can measure the success.
  11. Run a loyalty program for magazines. Crossword shoppers will appreciate this and drive more whole of business shopping as a result.
  12. Shine a light on your range on social media – let locals know that your business is the local destination from crosswords.

I get that some reading this will say we only get 25%, why bother. I agree the margin is disrespectful. However, crossword shoppers purchase out of habit. That makes them valuable to us beyond the crossword purchase.


Category: crosswords · magazines · Newsagency management · Newsagency opportunities

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Adelaide Dupont // Sep 23, 2019 at 7:39 AM

    What a good first tip.

    You will have parents and children; friends; trivia group mates all in for the crossword.

    Or what about a crossword wall with a super one and some little ones copies where people can complete at will.

    And I agree about how it works in book retailing – the staff recommendations.


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