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Why aren’t all Australian newsagents the same?

Each newsagency in Australia is locally owned and run. Right there, that is the key reason not all newsagents are the same, and it is a good reason. These are locally owned and run businesses, serving locals, reflecting local needs.

Back in the day you could count on every newsagency to sell stationery, magazines, newspapers, greeting cards, lottery tickets and cigarettes.

Today, there are some newsagents who do not sell magazines, some who do not sell newspapers, some who do not sell stationery, plenty who do not sell lottery products and plenty more ho do not sell cigarettes.

Some newsagents specialise in unique area such as secondhand goods, clothing, haberdashery, firearms, farm supplies, plants and plenty more.

There are no rules about what a newsagency business must sell to be regarded as a newsagency.

Decades ago, we’d be referred to as authorised as that’s what we were, an authorised newsagency. It has some weight to it, and plenty of obligation to the masters of the day, the newspaper publishers. Those days are gone. There are no authorised newsagencies.

Aussie newsagencies are not the same because times have changed. What sells has changed. Good retailers evolve with the changes, ideally ahead of the changes.

Even in the different newsagency banner groups there are considerable differences among businesses, which is odd for a couple that are more franchise like but not run the way plenty of franchises are run – in a cookie cutter way. You only have to walk in the shops to see the differences.

None of this is a bad thing because local retail is, after all, in service of locals and what the folks of Cairns will want is different to what the folks of Devonport will want. This is what local retail is about.

All Aussie newsagents aren’t the same because they are local.

My point is that each newsagency in Australia is different and should be considered that way. There is no common set of products and services we sell, no expectation you should have regarding any newsagency business in Australia, no expectation that products, prices and / or service would be the same in each. The difference between newsagency businesses is something to celebrate, just as every locally owned and run retail business is something to celebrate in the local community.


Join the discussion

  1. Graeme Day

    Good article very true is some ways however the public still have a view on what a newsagency is.
    they prabably base this on their local newsagency growing though the changes over the years has the same agency image for the locals -even though there were afternoon papers 4 to 5 editions daily even a Saturday afternoon last Race edition which close in the early 70’s. even though etc Today we have more Social Expression On Line Lotto the Lott and more.
    If we didn’t have the same identity there would be no poiunt in having a common brand name such as newsXpress or Nextra or Newspower when after all they still are referred to as the local newsagent.
    Evelution rolls on with the survivors adapting it could be as in the Milk Bars rolling over to the Cafe’s however it’s not as we are still called Newsagent even though we were the Milk Bars of yesteryear.


  2. h

    The owners of the Kalgoorlie newsagent that famously sold a $63 million lottery ticket have shut up shop and are deserting the town in the face of unrelenting theft and anti-social behaviour.

    The final straw for Tania Parkes was a magistrate saying it was concerning that an alleged shoplifter she pursued out of the store she has run alongside husband Kevin for almost a decade felt like she was prejudiced against.

    City News Kalgoorlie shut its doors on Saturday and will not reopen under new ownership until July.

    The Parkes made the difficult decision to sell out of the venture because they no longer feel safe in the town they grew up in.

    “In the last eight years, the stealing and abuse has just gotten worse and worse,” Mrs Parkes said.

    “We are open 12 hours a day and it starts from the moment you open, right up until closing time.”

    To ward off thieves, the Parkes took to keeping their 75kg rottweiler Dozer inside their store with them.

    The altercation that finally pushed the husband and wife team to throw in the towel occurred in mid-January, during a major power outage caused by a severe summer thunderstorm that toppled the only transmission line into the Goldfields.

    Mrs Parkes purchased a $4000 generator to keep the newsagency’s fridges operational so they could keep supplying cold drinks to the town on a sweltering 42C day.

    “The lottery system was down and we were costing ourselves money staying open but we wanted to try and provide some relief to people out on the streets,” she said.
    City News Kalgoorlie co-owner Tania Parkes.

    With only one small section of the store open, Dozer was behind the counter with Mr Parkes – who lost his leg after falling off a roof two decades ago.

    Around 8.30am, an Aboriginal woman walked out of the store without paying for a bottle of Coke prompting Mrs Parkes to pursue her.

    “We have shoplifters every day and I confront them every time as politely as possible,” she said.

    “It was the same with this lady, I walked on the street and said ‘No you don’t have a right to take stuff without paying’.”

    Instead of handing the drink back, Mrs Parkes claims the woman struck her in the face — at which point a physical altercation broke out.

    The thief was arrested and last month pleaded guilty to stealing, criminal damage and common assault, as well as breaching bail when failing to appear at an earlier court date.

    She was handed an $800 suspended fine, which will not have to be paid unless she reoffends within four months.

    Mrs Parkes said she was surprised by the leniency of the sentence but devastated by the commentary from the magistrate, who accepted the defendant’s “version of events” that she had intended to pay for the Coke but had been “chased” out of the store “perhaps” because of “prejudice”.

    “I come from an Aboriginal background, the man who married my mum and raised me is Aboriginal and I grew up with Aboriginal grandparents,” Mrs Parkes said.


  3. KENNY

    we are considering the same should we extend the lease or not. the industry is not the same anymore. going cashless is hurting more with no banks nearby . around 98 percentage of transaction is done by card and having no cash for payout, its looks lotts are asleep at wheels and cant address the main issue.


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