Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Why your local newsagency may not live up to your childhood memories, and why this could be good news

Mark Fletcher
April 12th, 2021 · No Comments

The local Aussie newsagency focussed in newspapers, magazines, lollies, lottery products and cigarettes is fading, which is a good thing. petrol outlets, convenience stores, supermarkets and tobacco shops are taking over these low-margin convenience lines.

Aussie newsagents have been shedding tobacco products for years. They have been reducing space allocation for magazines and newspapers, too. The margin from print media is small and cover price decisions mean newsagents make less in real terms from each magazine sold today than ten years ago.

More newsagents, too, are not in the lottery space, having chosen to not engage with that highly regulated low-margin product category.

The local Aussie newsagency is evolving … and not in a network wide way, often not in a way that is easily identifiable.

While the local Aussie newsagency may still offer newspapers and magazines, it will most likely have an awesome range of products, which could include: gifts, homewares, books, self-care, nesting, toys, games, garden products, clothing, coffee, food and art … in addition to what you may expect in terms of cards, stationery and craft supplies.

There are plenty of local Aussie newsagency businesses that do not look and feel like a newsagency. Some shoppers don’t like this, they prefer the older style newsagency. The thing is, that old style business is not profitable in 2021. Newsagents can’t bank on the nostalgia pangs of some people. They need foot traffic, turnover and profit. This is why the local Aussie newsagency is changing.

Many newsagents have been chasing change for years and years, trying new products, experimenting to bold layout changes and shape-shifting their businesses to see what might work. What works in one location may not work in another location. This is why the unified and similar looking local Aussie newsagency of decades ago is lost today in 2021. The book and game focussed ‘newsagency’ in Inverloch, Victoria looks very different to the toy and game focussed ‘newsagency’ in Cooma, New South Wales, and both of these look very different to the gift focussed ‘newsagency’ in Sarina in Queensland.

While your local newsagency may still be there, expect it to be different because different is what helps them be there for the local haul, offering you access to magazines and newspapers along with a bunch of interesting and thoughtfully sourced products that work in your local community.

Indeed, in the newsagency retail channel in Australia right now you can see some of the most innovative retail in-store as well as online. It is an exciting time to be a newsagent.

If you haven’t been in your local newsagency for a while, check it out, be ready for a surprise.

Oh, and if you do pine for the nostalgia of the old-style newsagency, think about whether you’d preference one of those brick mobile phones fro the late 1980s or the smart phone you have today. Yes, the world changes. Retail changes, too. This is a good thing. So … check out your local, new, newsagency.


Category: newsagency of the future

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