Australian Newsagency Blog

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

The old newsagency agreement haunts our channel today

Mark Fletcher
November 27th, 2020 · 3 Comments

Doing a a clean out this week I found my Newsagency Agreement, signed April 3, 1996, with David Some & Co. Limited. I had a similar agreement with the Herald and Weekly Times.

I think these old agency agreements haunt our channel today as they are at the heart of the agent relationships that define many businesses. Even though most no longer have a distribution agreement, plenty do and others have a retail form of the agreement.

The agreement I found is 9 pages of one-sided obligation, like the Gotch agreement, the ACP magazines agreement, and, for many, the lotteries agreement. In each case, these agreements apply onerous requirements on newsagents to be agents.

Interestingly, I suspect the agreements would not meet the requirements of new regulations around agreements for small businesses.

While many in our channel are working hard at trading away from the old days, for plenty is is difficult to let go of core traffic from lotteries, newspapers and magazines, since they do see it as letting go. I prefer to see it as growing other roads (highways) of traffic so we are less reliant on the country roads of agency revenue.

It was nostalgic reading through this old agreement,I enjoyed it and the memories it recalled. I am glad those days are over for my businesses.


Category: Newsagency management · newsagency of the future

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael // Nov 27, 2020 at 6:16 AM

    Those were the days.


  • 2 Graeme Day // Nov 27, 2020 at 6:58 AM

    Another era Mark, great memories as you say and a structure of foundation n a set income which newsagent could rely upon. The same as lotteries and the key is the income from newspaper home delivery was the core of our business Now it is no longer. Lotteries may last longer however however tyhe pathway is clear.
    Your second last paragraph says it all. Agency roads as you put it will be more than likely founded through on Line even if initiated through some retail outlets such as ‘Phnoe card, Opal tickets and Green Slips, (remember them?) short lived compared with product .
    Not only are there many different products we can present to our community there is the atmosphere and theatre we can create for this is the real retail.


  • 3 Steve // Dec 1, 2020 at 9:24 PM

    I am noticing more and more in our channel stocking magazines back of store. Perhaps it is on time for Ovato and Bauer to also throw out their antiquated remuneration model? I am perplexed by Bauer Books standard 25 per cent margin for our channel whilst the same books can be sourced by other channels with a much higher margin.

    I agree Mark , we need to be seen as retailers not agents. Those suppliers who view us this way are already being rewarded..


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