Australian Newsagency Blog

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The throw rug sale that’s worth 60 magazine sales in the newsagency

Mark Fletcher
May 18th, 2021 · 5 Comments

The story of the sale of this woollen throw is one magazine publishers could benefit reading as it speaks to the common margin opportunity for gift and homewares items that so many of us are selling in our businesses now. It also speaks to stock turn and the broader business narrative opportunity for us … as opposed to the challenged narrative for print magazines.

We received the throw rug in-store Tuesday afternoon. We sold it Thursday lunch time. The price was $180.00 with a cost price of $90.00. The $90 in gross profit translates to what we would make from 60 magazines based on overage cover price.

Selling items of this value and more is easy from the high street newsagency. The key is to buy well. For the rug, the keys were product quality, colour and the cold weather in Melbourne.

The throw rug was space efficient. It didn’t have any time-consuming data management requirements. We chose it. It expanded the reach of the business. These are all factors that don’t play when it comes to magazines.

I could just as easily write about a lamp shade, an ottoman, a work of art or a beautiful hand made vase. Many newsagents are diversifying into mid to higher price point items and having success with quite short stock-turn cycles. With GP sitting at 50% and more and with many of these items helping to attract new shoppers, it’s natural we compare their performance to newspapers, imagines and other legacy agency lines.

I mention magazines in this post as our channel continues to be a vital channel for magazine publishers. However, as more newsagents do well from a more diverse and GP valuable mix of products, the more we will look across at magazines and wonder.


Category: magazines · newsagency of the future · Newsagency opportunities

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Graeme Day // May 18, 2021 at 7:10 AM

    A good point. G.P. and high turnover are two very different things. 60 magazines at only half the G.P. of the rug could mean 60 more people have the chance to buy the rug/s over a period of time. The stock turns may equate to more rug sales, especially with a promotion in the store’s front The rug/s looking cosy with a selection of accross the board titles and a sign such as “Snuggle up, be as warm as a Bug in a Rug with selected magazines from our extensive range”
    If you can get you magazine range to 6 stock turns or more you don’t have to pay for additional stock at the end of the month. The rug is the cream and the theme is the relationship with the consumer. Bringing these items together increases our connection with the community at large reinforcing regular attendance.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // May 18, 2021 at 7:18 AM

    Magazines are less likely to generate new traffic. They are also basket inefficient, ranked not far off lotteries for basket depth and mix.

    The throw rug helps show our business in a different light. I like that.


  • 3 Graeme Day // May 18, 2021 at 7:31 AM

    Surely the consumer could decide. Many newsagencies enjoy gteat lotto sales with great gift and card sales as well It need not be one or the other We can sell both and as stated in the post connect the products. It does work.
    Dat does not reflect the benefit of this type of promotion, experience does and it’s well worth trying. the industry is bigger than just Gifts and Cards and by croos promotion we remind our customers of our flexibility through these types of promotions. Done heaps of them over the years and even now see them. They work ..incredibly well.” This goes with this goes with that at Sussans” was sheer marketing thought and genius.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // May 18, 2021 at 8:01 AM

    Graeme, they do decide. All I am noting is that in my experience, promoting something like the trow rug is more likely to deliver net new traffic than promoting magazines or lotteries.

    The data evidence is that items like the throw rug are more likely to deliver a better and deeper basket mix than magazines and lotteries.

    I’m not telling people what to do here, only sharing my experiences / insights.


  • 5 Steve // May 18, 2021 at 9:06 PM

    Due to our association with the alpaca industry we have stocked alpaca scarves, beanies, blankets and yarn seasonally for the last 3 years. I agree these are great products to differentiate our store and to attract a different type of shopper. Mark you are correct these shoppers tend to be spontaneous buyers attracted to other instore purchases. Whilst our magazine sales are still strong products like these deliver our cream. Identifying higher margin products to sell and cross selling is the key.


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