Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Selling hugs in the newsagency

Mark Fletcher
August 8th, 2020 · 10 Comments

Here is what we have had behind the counter for the last couple of weeks at one of retail newsagencies. This is what shoppers see when they are at the counter. People are pointing to the one they want, happily adding to their purchases, on impulse.

It has been working a treat. Shoppers love that they can choose without touching and knowing that others, too, have not touched. They also love the Squishmallows product as it is a perfect huggable gift in this moment in time when hugs are not possible – here in Melbourne at least.

That wall beyond the counter is more important than ever here in Victoria as we can use it to drive impulse purchases with tactical placement, such as with these Squishmallows.

Plush sales were up 25% in July across Australia, not only in newsagencies but in other retail channels as well. I think this is because giving a plush item is like giving a hug.

Tactical placement at the counter is key to leveraging the opportunity. Try it.


Category: marketing tip · newsagency marketing · Newsagency opportunities

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter // Aug 8, 2020 at 9:11 AM

    Plush toys are good, my kids wardrobes are full of them. It does worry me a bit when I think of all the millions of other plush toys stashed in bedrooms around the country. Is there an environmentally friendly way to dispose of these Mark? Or will they all have to eventually go into landfill?


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Aug 8, 2020 at 9:26 AM offers a good service.


  • 3 Peter // Aug 8, 2020 at 9:50 AM

    Thanks Mark. Looks a bit vague, with little verifiable local application. Too many companies like to sign up to these things purely so they can put a green tick next to their logo.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Aug 8, 2020 at 9:58 AM

    Okay. Talk to your local charity shop. Some will take plush and dry-clean or otherwise santise for on-donating products that look okay.


  • 5 Peter // Aug 8, 2020 at 10:24 AM

    Donating or charity is fine, but really it’s just moving the problem on to someone else. A bit like putting your rubbish in your neighbours bin.


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Aug 8, 2020 at 12:03 PM

    You asked a question Peter, I offered 2 options. I am sure if you research you will find options that work for you.


  • 7 Peter // Aug 8, 2020 at 12:13 PM

    Thanks Mark, it’s a real quandary what to do with the detritus of our consumerist lifestyle. I wasn’t really expecting you to have a solution, no one does, just platitudes and slogans.


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Aug 8, 2020 at 12:16 PM

    It’s not, tho. I know of two local charity shops in Victoria that have taken secondhand plush, cleaned it for free with a nearby dry cleaner and re-gifted to kids as part of immediate bushfire relief. It doesn’t;t work for everyone, in every situation, but in the two instances of which I am personally aware it worked well.


  • 9 Peter // Aug 8, 2020 at 12:20 PM

    Makes middle and upperclass people feel better about themselves. Give their gross excess waste to the little people and do their part to save the planet.


  • 10 Graeme Day // Aug 8, 2020 at 12:33 PM

    Try Vinnies or Salvos for Kids and adults.


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