Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Richard Glover on his newsagency experience as a kid

Mark Fletcher
September 29th, 2020 · 5 Comments

In the pages of Spectrum from the SMH and The Age last week was How porn and a price hike helped this newsagent’s son, a terrific short memoir from Richard Glover about his experience as a son of a newsagent.

It’s a good read. My only wish is that he reflected on newsagencies today as they have come a long way from his memories. Glover wrote:

These days, newsagents rely on gambling, working away at counters in which the air is heavy with scratch-lottery dust. They struggle on – despite falling sales of almost everything on which we used to rely – cigarettes, greeting cards, newspapers, pornography and the long-banned headache powders.

I’d prefer:

These days, many newsagents have evolved from the days of my childhood memories. On the high street they are often the retail innovator, selling gifts, and homewares, supporting local Aussie makers and helping us connect with loved-ones in ways never dreamed of in the 1970s.

The Aussie newsagent is a quintessential business. It’s terrific to see that so many have evolved with the times.

Like many, I have not relied on gambling in my newsagency businesses for more than 10 years.

I wish people writing about our channel did more research to understand the extent of evolution from just a few years ago.


Category: newsagency of the future · Ugh!

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jam // Sep 29, 2020 at 8:19 AM

    I see opportunity.


  • 2 Jason // Sep 29, 2020 at 8:46 AM

    The problem isn’t the people who write about the channel. That’s how the channel is perceived – it’s not the writers fault!


  • 3 Mark Fletcher // Sep 29, 2020 at 8:47 AM

    People writing in mainstream media about the channel nurture perception.


  • 4 Steve // Sep 29, 2020 at 8:52 AM

    Yes a much better message from you Mark and disappointing from Richard. We actually stock his latest book so might have to invite him down to see how a 135 year old newsagency has evolved. Our year on year sales growth is over $2,000 per week so happy to dispute his claims about falling revenue.


  • 5 Graeme Day // Sep 29, 2020 at 9:12 AM

    Richard Glover was born well after the era he writes about. The era was War time and post wartime. Newstrands , Tobacconist -Lottery agents in kiosk all over Sydnet and te Local newsagent a publisher distributor with a few cards apart from Magazines and the other staples.
    Newsagencies didn’t grow into retaial awareness until A.N.C.O.L. was borne (early 50’s). Glover (1958) By the time Glover was aware of these things say mid 70’s newsagencies were well and trulu evovling into bigger space and more retail.
    The second and most important phase has been gradual over the past 10 years and now an absolute necessity. We are now nor s service industry of commission only sales but a fully fledged Retail outlet.
    Hang onto the services whilst demand is there however use them to transition the newsagency using the image presented in this blog as a guide It is a brand new community not post War not a circulation based “build or die” requisite stamped in a Prncipal and Agent contract.
    Glovers reflections are true and well written and not applicable to today alsmost as relevant as silent movies. Wonderful nostalgia


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