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

It’s fair-weather friends season

Some suppliers who have resisted opening accounts with newsagents without looking at the actual businesses applying now welcome retailers from our channel because of our good Covid story.

That we have been open throughout and thrived has shown them the value of retail businesses in our channel.

Suppliers who realised this last year and responded are not the ones I am writing about today. rather, I am writing about suppliers responding to the latest NSW / ACT / VIC lockdowns.

I am aware of several who have steadfastly resisted newsagents who now welcome them as customers. One is actively pushing into the channel, setting up some difficult conversations with existing account retailers when they do get to reopen. They have overcome a prejudice they help for years because they have a warehouse of stock they need to move and our channel is just about the only game in town for them. While it’;s good to see, I do wonder if they really have overcome their prejudice.

I am sceptical of some suppliers opening to our channel. If I was to take any of them on, I’d want certainty that into the future they will not restrict the product categories available to me. If they balk at that question I’d wonder about the long-term prospects for the relationship.

While there is considerable diversity among the retail businesses in our channel, it is, overall, strong, with a bright future. This is in part because of how much many of us have evolved from the shingle.

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Newsagency challenges

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