The Age goes up 20 cents today. There was a time when we’d celebrate a newspaper cover price rise, a time when that 20 cent increase would mean and extra 3 cents margin. Hey, 3 cents is 3 cents, especially for a volume product.
Thanks to margin setting changes by Nine Media, retail newsagents will receive half a cent from the 20 cent cover price increase. The margin from The Age is 8%.
Half a cent. And, with newspapers now low volume product in many newsagencies, the value of this paltry increase is nil.
I wonder if Nine Media has cut the margin small business retail newsagents make from newspapers because they know there is no risk as stocking newspapers makes the business essential.
Regardless of the reason, this move by Nine Media is offensive. Here we have small business newsagents facing a labour cost increase in a few months, the annual rental increase of 5% and other costs going up and they are cutting what newsagents make in real terms.
This is not a socially responsible move by Nine Media. It disrespects small business retailers who have few levers available to enable them to deal with operating cost increases.
But, for the most part, m this move will go unnoticed … because newsagents are used to being treated this way, they put up with it out of fear I guess.