Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Card company pressures newsagent to change to them … the result is a drop in sales for the newsagent

Mark Fletcher
April 29th, 2021 · No Comments

A representative of card company, and through them the card company itself, pressured a new owner of a newsagency into switching to their products from a successful incumbent a while ago. A year on, the move was shown to be a failure.

Card sales declined significantly.

Proving it was not a business problem, the rest of the business performed well.

The change pitch was you’ll do better. It’s been put to me that the pitch was pressured. If true, this being applied to someone new to our channel and new to cards, there is an ethical question for those involved.

For what it’s worth, I suggest retailers get every supplier claim / promise in writing from them or at least diarised by the retailer – with a date and time.

In the case of the newsagent above, evidence could be presented in an appropriate forum for a compensation claim that could amount to thousands of dollars of lost gross profit.

Now, some notes about this. The new owner did not know the incumbent company at the time was successful because they did not look at the data. Nor did the representatives of the card company agitating to win the business. from what I understand, their approach was high pressure and heavy with claims of greater success.

Now that the newsagent is no longer new and have learned the value of business data, they understand the cost of their decision. It’s not a good situation for them. It could have been avoided had the representative agitating them to change been ethical.

Of course I am not sharing anything whatsoever that enables identification of the newsagents, the card company or their representative. but, as happens with our channel, I am sure the story will make its way around. I am not the only person with knowledge off what happened here.

Here are my tips relating to what this story is about:

  • Get every claim by a prospective supplier in writing.
  • Ask for evidence supporting any claim they make.
  • Keep notes.
  • Hold them to account for their claims.
  • Free stock is no benefit unless it sells easily.
  • Anyone giving you cash or something else that could consider is valuable will be repaid by you in some way.
  • Read every contract carefully.

The costs to the business I have written about are real and someone, or some people, working in our channel know what their pressure led to for the owner. Shame on them.

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Category: Ethics · Greeting Cards

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