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

Plush a super category of growth for Aussie retailers

The latest sales data from across a diverse range of toy retailers indicate plush as a super category. To be clear, this is across different types of shops, different banners, using different POS software. This broad cross section makes it reliable and useful. The performance of plush is a stand out.

I am happy about this news as there are still some in the newsagency channel who mock plush, say it doesn’t make money, say it’s had its day. This evidence indicates otherwise. It indicates that those talking down plush have not looked at the evidence, for the evidence shows success.

Now, of course, plush can mean a range of different things, from sub $10.00 items through to $200.00 items, and more.

I have a good range of plush in each of my shops, from a range of different suppliers. It is performing well, delivering growth, driving net new traffic.

I introduced it to the newsagency I bought in malvern just before Christmas. They had not stocked it before. It’s now at $3,000 a month in revenue, and bringing in new shoppers. It’s a good news story from my personal experience – just as I expected it.

What is especially interesting about plush in newsagencies is what is bought with it. That mix is diverse. rarely do you have a single plush item in the purchase. Usually it is 2 or more, and 1 or 2 other items. Plush is a basket means it is a deeper than is often the case basket.

The bonus with plush is the margin. 55% and more GP% is a good number. Plus, the plush shopper is more likely to be back as plush purchases tend to be habit based purchases, making the ‘lifetime’ value of the shopper something to crave and appreciate.

In my experience, the keys to success with plush are having an evolving range, front of store placement, constant change to displays, full displays and the right touch to shopper engagement. Those buying for themselves are collectors and they appreciate being treated as such. Plush is not a toy, buying plush can be like buying a pet.

I am yet to see a newsagency business properly introduce plush and fail.

Newsagency management

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