Australian Newsagency Blog

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

What will happen with China, will it impact the supply chain?

Mark Fletcher
May 31st, 2020 · 5 Comments

Australian shoppers are keen for Australian made – more so now than at any time I can recall.

Suppliers of Australian made products to newsagents, and all retailers, need to ensure that their products pitch this and that they support this with in-store collateral like shelf talkers.

Since COVID hit and more so in recent weeks as tensions with China have escalated in Australia and even in the last week as democracy in Hong Kong has come under attack from Beijing, Australian shoppers and retailers are more wary of China sourced product.

Will this be a long term concern? It’s hard to say. It is, however, enough of a concern in my view that I expect some suppliers are actively working on adjustments to their supply chain so as to not be impacted by anti China sentiments.

I have been discussing the situation with several newsagents and some suppliers and feel that it is Beijing’s moves against Hong Kong that represent the most significant risk to the commercial viability of China sourced products.

Does this mean newsagents don’t want to source products from China? No. However, it does mean that it is of concern and that means it should be on the minds of suppliers.

In my view, what is happening in Hong Kong showcases suppression of long-standing, well established democracy. If Beijing continues on its current path, I expect to see the world respond. This is why I hope suppliers of products sourced from China have alternatives in development so that supply is not impacted.


Category: Ethics · Social responsibility

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Pam Sleap // Jun 1, 2020 at 5:44 PM

    Hi Mark,
    We are an Australian wholesaler and have previously approached you in relation to our Australian designed and manufactured cards and wrapping paper ………but at that time you stated you did have enough suppliers……..and I do believe the majority of the cards and wrap in your stores were printed overseas.
    Well here’s your chance to show what you are now stating and helping support Australian jobs!
    Not only do we have an excellent range of quality cards and wrapping paper, we also have beautifully packaged Australian manufactured soaps.
    For more info visit our website:


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Jun 1, 2020 at 7:12 PM

    Pam, I have 3 shops, out of around 3,000 retail newsagency businesses.

    For me, I have plenty of Aussie designed and made cards in the card mix in each of my stores.

    My own focus is on higher price-point cards as the discount variety stores have the bottom end of the market covered.


  • 3 Mark R // Jun 3, 2020 at 11:50 AM

    We love Australian product and our customers are happy to pay the extra if the quality is there.

    Now is the time for western countries to look at India manufacturing, we have made China the powehouse it is today . The Chinese communist government have spread its reach around the globe.

    India can also be a manufacturing giant it just requires capital , China would then loose some of its huge trade


  • 4 Graeme Day // Jun 3, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    Trading with other Countries is okay as long as it is reciprical and as Australians we do not lose our identity and sovereignty.


  • 5 Steve // Jun 3, 2020 at 8:33 PM

    We have certainly noticed supply issues with some products sourced from China but as you say Mark hopefully this is just short term. Would ideally prefer to source Australian made products of the same but unfortunately they do not exist.

    As a director of an Australian export company supplying most of our product to China I worry about overnight tariffs and other restrictions being imposed by the Chinese government. We need to support and encourage Australian made where we can and as Mark R states where we can’t our wholesalers should be diversifying their supply chains and look towards countries like India and Vietnam.


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