Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Australian shoppers preference high street retail over shopping malls

Mark Fletcher
November 16th, 2020 · No Comments

Looking at retail newsagency sales data for October and the first 2 weeks of November of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, there is evidence that Australian shoppers are preferencing high street retail over shopping mall retail.

Newsagencies in high street situations, city and country, are doing much better, often reporting strong double-digit growth, compared to shopping mall businesses.

In the dataset I can see plenty of good news flowing from the easing of Covid related restrictions across retail in the newsagency channel. The news for high street situated retail newsagencies is considerably better than for those in shopping mall situations.

Looking at the core category of magazines. While the overall channel average is a year on year decline, even in locations where Covid restrictions have been relaxed for months, it is in high street situations that I am more likely see growth in the sales data.

Digging deeper into the women’s weeklies segment of magazines, decline in shopping mall businesses yet growth in some high street city and regional businesses.

So, what sort of growth am I talking about? There are high street newsagencies reporting 45% year on year growth, off a good base. The majority of this growth is coming from high margin lines such as gifts, homewares, games and toys. This is driving up overall business GP%.

One factor at play here is the diversity in high street businesses. They tend to offer more product categories, thereby appealing to a broader range of shoppers. I do wonder if this is a consequence of narrow permitted use clauses required by shopping mall landlords.

While it is early days in the recovery, there are indications of a stickiness to high street retail. That is, shoppers who found high street newsagencies are tending to stay, liking what they saw when those were the only general retail businesses open during lockdown.

While I don’t want to read too much into the year on year sales results I have seen so far, I like what I am seeing and am encouraged that the growth plenty saw during the Covid lockdown is continuing.

Based on the sales data, newsagency type businesses are, in my opinion, worth more today than they were this time last year and that has to be good news for the newsagency channel and those who supply the newsagency channel.

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Category: Newsagency management · newsagency of the future · Newsagency opportunities

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