Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Surge in foreign language newspaper sales

Mark Fletcher
September 14th, 2020 · 3 Comments

While the dataset is too small to declare a statewide or national trend, there is an indication that foreign language newspaper sales are surging.┬áIf this is a trend, it’s good news for newsagents as we are the go-to locations for these niche titles. Their success is our success.

Looking only at high street located newsagencies, newspaper sales overall are up. The actual number varies considerably between locations.

Within the newsagency sales data, sales for international / foreign language newspapers are up the most, by far, in every business I looked at.

In one high street store, for example, overall newspaper unit sales are up 11% in the April to August months of 2020 compared to 2019. Foreign language titles are up 29%. They account for 12% of all newspapers sold.

My suggestion to newsagents is – check data to see if this is the case. Leveraging this, you could consider:

  • Promoting foreign language on social media. I suggest one title per post. Include a photo of the newspaper.
  • From time to time, placing them at the counter.
  • Looking at what sells with foreign language newspapers. This basket data can be insightful.
  • Considering expanding your foreign language title range.
  • Ensuring you offer appropriate allied product.

I get that focussing on low margin product that accounts for 12% of a small product category may not make sense. However, it is in these niche areas where we can encourage valuable shopper loyalty.


Category: Newspapers

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nik // Sep 14, 2020 at 8:17 AM

    Thank you for sharing this information. We see in our own sales too with COVID-19 driving new highs. Many newsagents are selling out and not upping supply which is a mistake for them.


  • 2 Grame Day // Sep 14, 2020 at 11:28 AM

    Mark, Nik, Good stuff.
    This is so true, the scatter of newspapers from different countries is important especially as “newsagents”
    The local news ON t.v. is okay howver the o.s. news is mainly on SBS 3 with COVID a lot more poeople want to know waht’s going on and reading about is better or at least has more detail. Pity the margins weren’t higher however better than 12.5% for all the retail newsagents in Sydney now since retail only.


  • 3 Cameron // Sep 15, 2020 at 10:28 PM

    A customer told me it was because so many members of their community were being affected by the nursing home outbreaks. St Basil’s alone 206 cases and 44 dead.


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