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How is the Aussie newsagency travelling in 2024: looking at retail sales January through April 2024 vs. 2023

Looking at sales in your newsagency from January through April 2024 versus 2023 is useful. Knowing your results is more important than the noise from news outlets on retail sales.

While it’s not a full-on benchmark, I’ve seen data for enough businesses to share the following as reasonable results with which to compare your business when looking at sales for the first four months of this year compared to the same period in 2023 for traditionally core categories:

  • Magazine unit sales: down 8%.
  • Newspaper unit sales: down 5%.
  • Stationery sales: up 3%.
  • Card sales: up 2%.

If your results are outside these, consider what you are doing in the business to change the situation. There could be a good reason your numbers are different. It could also be that the business is challenged in ways you can positively impact.

There are many things we can do in our businesses to drive sales growth. The key is taking action to achieve this. Success won’t seek us out, we have to seek it. Please forgive this cliche … but it is true.

Stationery is having a good moment, growing sales is easy. cards, too, respond to care and attention from you, especially if you are tactical in chasing the impulse purchase.

The big winner is gifts. What we can sell in our shops has changed so much. The price range we can offer has changed too. Gone are the days of newsagents targeting gifts that cost $25.00 or less. I love hearing from newsagents when they have sold their first $300+ item – it opens their mind to expanding their gift offer further.

I own a newsagency on Glenferrie Road Malvern, in Melbourne. For decades it was a traditional newsagency, owned and well run by one family: huge in magazine sales and strong in newspapers, cards and stationery.

Since I bought the business we have engaged in evolving the business while not anting to hard the existing core. It’s working. We are attracting new shoppers and winning new category revenue while maintaining good core sales.

Switching card companies provided a huge boost and continuous evolution of the card mix in the 2+ years. Introducing gifts is working well as is the introduction of sensory products, multi-generational plush as well as homewares.

What we stopped early on that helped too: we got rid of the drinks fridge, the ice-cream fridge, candy at the counter and 20% of the magazine space. Now, in cutting the magazine space, we did not cut any titles – we have maintained excellent magazine sales: $100,000 in January through April 2024. Special interest titles are the biggest segment, accounting for $20,000 in sales in the first four months this year.

All of this has been done on a minimal budget in a step-by-step approach, following opportunities revealed in the data.

Please take a moment and compare your January through April 2024 with 2023. See what’s working and what’s not. If you see in this things that need attention, get to it. If you are not sure what your comparison shows, feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to take a look and comment back to you on a confidential basis. I’m at mark@towersystems.com.au or 0418 321 338.

Newsagency management

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