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

Surging gift packaging sales in the newsagency

After purchasing the business late last year we replaced the gift packaging supplier, moved the category from the rear of the shop to next to the counter, to be the introduction category to cards, and, we replaced the fixtures with a more modern and easily shopped approach.

Here’s what it looks like.

Sales are up more than 250%. The inventory investment is up 10% and the space investment is the same.

While most of our customers are individuals, we do have some corporate customers. Wednesday last week, one corporate customer came in and bought 15 bags … because they noticed the range when shopping for something else.

The balance in the range is key we are finding. By balance, I mean the offering of bags, roll wrap, sheeted wrap, flat wrap and premium tissue. Enough people do invest in how the gift looks enough for us to offer what we offer.

Being literally next to the counter is good in that we can easily help shoppers see what they may be missing. Previously, this location had a segment of cards that was not doing so well.

The glass shelving enables us to keep the display looking tidy. It also makes the product stoppable.

There is nothing unique here, nothing that can’t be easily copied.

This is a Field of Dreams move. By that, I mean it’s something that will attract shoppers. You know, build it and they will come. The fresh range of gift packaging is attracting net new shoppers thanks to the ease with which it can be seen, word of mouth and our social media posts. It’s one the threads of our new customer strategy, which I wrote about here earlier.

What makes the focus on gift packaging more important is the margin. It’s more than 60%. The turn rate is such that this category is one of our top performers, which makes it cash flow beneficial. These factors all matter.

Too often suppliers neglect to pitch on stock turn. to me, stock turn is as important as margin. Get the two right, and in sync, and you have good times.

We are thrilled with the result of the bags and are grateful to be working with a supplier who has so willingly and engagingly partnered with us on this project.

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Newsagency management

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