Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Victorian retailers experiencing the importance of online

Mark Fletcher
August 1st, 2020 · 8 Comments

The on-going challenge of COVID-19 infection in Victoria is hitting even high street retailers with shopper traffic down for this segment of retail that had been resilient over recent months.

This past week has seen a measurable downturn in traffic.

Retailers with an online presence have seen an increase through that channel. One high street retailer in Victoria retailer I spoke with yesterday, not a newsagent, said that over the counter was down 30% while online was up 200% with the business overall trading at close to the same revenue level.

In my own situation, online is helping with sales fulfilled through the post as well as sales fulfilled through click and collect. indeed, click and collect has become quickly understood and appreciated by shoppers, especially older shoppers.

These days, being flexible with how and when we transact business is important. Online is no longer niche or a game, it is a core need in business … challenging for plenty but core.

7 likes

Category: Management tip · Newsagency management · newsagency of the future

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Colin // Aug 1, 2020 at 8:09 AM

    Given the hassle and cost of landlords. For many retailers, 50% on line sounds like the holy grail. Goodbye and good riddance to bricks & mortar.

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  • 2 Graeme Day // Aug 1, 2020 at 9:53 AM

    On Line is a necessity for the new newsagency model.
    It provides back up and more importantly it shows exactly what the particular store stocks.
    As we transition this is vital.
    It has been mentiioned by Mark on this Blog the importance of scattergun advertising so google search will pick up more of the lines you stock rather than the “single shot” newsagency brand approach.
    You can also do order here pick up at the store.
    This is an excellent stratedgy one that we use and it give fantastic results.
    To add to Colin’s comment re landlords they are now trying to force retailers into declaring their On Line sales in their Monthly turnover figures -this needs challenging.

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  • 3 Peter // Aug 1, 2020 at 11:12 AM

    Graeme, the online sales in monthly turnover is an interesting one. I think, unless you are operating a completely different entity that has no relationship with the bricks and mortar newsagency it would be hard to argue they should not be included. Especially if you offer click and collect or the products are part of a newsagency range. The landlord could argue their retail space is being used for the collection and packaging of goods and the retail presence is helping advertise your offering. It would have to be stand alone and proved that it could exist without the retail advertising and shopfront infrastructure. Hard to do, I would imagine.

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  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Aug 1, 2020 at 12:25 PM

    I am aware of retailers arguing successfully to not include online on the basis that there on no additional use of landlord space to support online, it is for categories outside the permitted use clause and / or trading is primarily while the centre is closed.

    The majority of independent small business retailers in centres that I speak with are not even close to triggering the % turnover threshold in their leases.

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  • 5 Peter // Aug 1, 2020 at 12:32 PM

    What is the % turnover threshold generally?

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  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Aug 1, 2020 at 12:36 PM

    Peter it varies by landlord and centre. I have seen lease at 10% of revenue, 15% and other numbers.

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  • 7 PJ // Aug 1, 2020 at 5:56 PM

    Revenue trigger in most retail leases based on fixed base rent, is so sales have to be reported not to collect more rent. The landlord can keep tabs on tenants business health and other analysis.

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  • 8 Graeme Day // Aug 1, 2020 at 10:39 PM

    The turnover is the base of which is used to value the Shopping Centre

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