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

Author: Mark Fletcher

The cozy appeal of the newsagency

We have pitched this cozy look at the front of one of our shops over the last week, as part of our approach casting the business outside off what is usual for a newsagency.

The response has been wonderful with new customers visiting, and purchasing. The comments have been terrific.

All the items in the display are full suggested retail even though a third of the products were purchased at half off wholesale. The GP% being achieved form this table is above 60%, which plays against what is traditional in a newsagency.

Vicual merchandising is storytelling and the creative person who put this display together is sure a brilliant storyteller. I am so grateful to have people in the businesses who can do this.

newsagency marketing

The best way to negotiate a lease in a major shopping centre

Major shopping centres looked appealing for years. All that foot traffic. The bright and shiny look. Being there was appealing.

The Covid hit, and traffic to major centres crashed. It’s coming back, but it’s not where it used to be.

With good space availability, leasing execs are doing the rounds, seeking to fill spaces. In some cases they are cutting deals, while in others the occupancy cost is as high as ever.

My advice to anyone negotiating for space ion a major shopping centre is: negotiate as if you have a better deal elsewhere. Don’t rely on it. Don’t visualise that centre as the only location for you. Have a viable plan ‘B’ and even a plan ‘C’. And, only agree to what you are 100% happy with.

Too often I see retailers agree to leases because of the appeal of bright shiny lights and what appears to be good foot traffic, one;y to rue the decisions for years.

By having viable and appealing options you allow yourself to have a more circumspect off the major centre leasing exec pitchy and that works in your favour.

I know there are people in our channel who say they get the best deals. It’s one think to claim this and another entirely to prove it. Ask for the evidence. In one situation I heard about recently when the retailer asked for evidence of deals a party claimed they had achieved the response was oh, privacy. That’s a crock in my view. If you claim you can get an awesome deal, prove it … otherwise, it remains marketing spin not backed by evidence.

You’re in your lease situation for 5 years at least usually. That’s a long time to be locked into something which with you are dissatisfied or unhappy. It is why you need to research carefully, to be sure you will be happy. It’s why you need to have options so you can compare before you sign anything.

One tip for those considering a shopping centre situation, have a plan ‘B’ option that is outside the centre and it is this different situation comparison that could be particularly helpful in landing at a decision. The two settings are physically and location different, they are usually financially different, too. This is what it is good for you to have the option with which you can compare. I have done this myself and pivoted to outside of shopping centre retail – less stress, lower occupancy cost and higher profit from sales = better business value.

retail leases

50% gross profit is not “high margin”, a chocolate bar will not save the newsagency industry

I thought NLNA has disappeared, I really had. Then, yesterday someone sent me a link to a video from VANA / NLNA (they use both names apparently) pitching a chocolate bar, I think, with the claim of high margin. Hmm, it’s 50% GP.

Groundbreaking stuff, not.

And the name NewsBar, or is it newsbar, or news bar? Who knows – because they don’t show the product. It’s hard to tell how this saves the industry. And, then, there is the reference that you can get magazines and papers in supermarkets, inferring that people can’t get this in supermarkets. Well, the supermarkets I shop at have a large range of chocolate bars, with brand names that I recognise and make sense.

Decide for yourself. Here’s the video:

I thought it was a joke on first watching. Maybe the promised TV campaign and billboards will make sense of it. I suspect not, though.

65% GP is high. 70% is better. What is better still is getting good margin, well above 50%, on a suite of products with which you can attract new shoppers, ideally shoppers who return, and through this growing your customer traffic reach.

I really can’t see this chocolate bar saving any business. For it to be noticed, recognised, it has to beat products with millions of dollars in. marketing behind them. And, it needs a name that makes sense. I don’t want to eat the news. I don’t want to chomp into a chocolate bar thinking of my local newsagent – that’s an image this name invites.

So much about this sounds and feels ill-conceived boy people not expert in the field.

Leech products that rely on existing traffic can be useful, but not doing-term valuable. A $5.00 chocolate bar is a leech product in my view, unless there is something truly unique about it. At $5.00 is’s likely not a gift, unless it’s a prank gift I guess. But, at $5.00, it’s an expensive chelate bar for yourself, especially when other retailers can satisfy your chocolate crave with okay chocolate for less than half the price.

And, when it comes to satisfying a chocolate craving, I reckon you’re more likely to go with something you know and easily recognise, something widely available.

It’s just my opinion but this pitch feels very 1980s to me. It does not feel like the future. It’s up to newsagents who see the pitch to decide that though.


Covid challenges staffing in local small business retail

Not being reported anywhere with accuracy, because it is impossible to track, is the days lost each week in businesses, including local retail businesses, due to Covid.

With financial support almost all closed off now, businesses and employees (depending on employment status) are left carrying the cost.

What magnifies the cost of Covid to businesses is late detection, which has come about because in the change in narrative focus by state and federal governments. Whereas in the past, early detection was key, today, the approach is casual, with no pressure. This adds to infection, especially in close proximity settings, like in retail.

The situation is also exacerbated by softening messages around masks, sanitiser and those steps early in the pandemic that were considered crucial to reducing the infection rate.

In our businesses with a small labour pool, the cost of an infection within the team can be considerable. This leaves us to apply our own rules, like continuing to use masks even when they are not mandated, maintaining acrylic screens at the counter, encouraging the use of hand sanitiser and keeping surfaces clean.

While I get that vaccines have reduced the impact Covid can have on many, it continues to be a risk to those unable to be vaccinated. It is also a risk to the vaccinated in that a diagnosis with Covid means you’re off work for a week, and that has a cost to you or your employer. In some business settings with no spare labour capacity, it can cause the business to close.

I was in Dubai last week and talking to some of the locals, they are happy that masks continue to be mandated outside, in all settings. A couple of retailers I spoke with said this was a key factor in them not being affected.

Here in  Australia, the noise of people demanding freedom has won and we are is a situation where the infection rate is higher, and the costs for business, individuals, and governments, are higher.

Looking at data, in the UAE, with a mask mandate, the current infection rate is 87,000 per 1M population. In Australia, that number is 151,000 while in the US, with a noise freedom chanting group, the number is 243,000.

As a business owner carrying the cost of employees being diagnosed with Covid, I wish this was happening less, that the impact on people on our team was less, that the costs hitting the business were less.

Freedom is more expensive that the measures we all took early in the pandemic.

In the meantime, in my own businesses, I encourage as much as I am able team members to wear masks and take precautions for themselves and their own loved-ones.

Social responsibility

Retail advice: shopfit changes worth doing are worth doing well – replacing the shop floor covering

We decided to replace the worn-out carpet in the retail newsagency business that we purchased on Glenferrie Road, Malvern, Victoria, in December 2021.

The decision is part our small-steps approach to refreshing this business. Rather than undertaking a whole shopfit at once, we are making a series of changes over time, as we learn more abut the business and its customers, and, to suit our goal of creating a less traditional newsagency.

So, we decided to replace the carpet.

We got several quotes, and chose a company with a good reputation. we appreciated their honesty regarding the need to close for 2 days to do the whole shop, around 250 sq metres.

The challenges started part way through day 1, when the old carpet was being removed. It turned out that under the old carpet was underlay, more carpet, tiles, and, lino tiles. The business had not changed hands in 38 years and it appeared that the original flooring was still in place for plenty of the shop.

In some places there were not as many layers on top of the original concrete floor.

The carpet installers had not anticipated dealing with so many layers when accepting the removal job from the carpet company. We had to get to the shop to take a look for ourselves as they were asking for more money.

The quote we had agreed to was not, in hindsight, as clear as it could have been. They could have removed the carpet and underlay and laid our new carpet on top. But, that would have resulted in an uneven floor. For the best result, all previous flooring had to be removed, and that would cost, we were told, $2,500.00 more.

A complication was the look of one layer. To be sure, it needed to be treated like asbestos. It was either that or halt the works and have it tested, which was not an option given where the project was at.

So, we agreed to the $2,500 and the removal back to the original concrete was done.

From the Saturday through to the Monday, March 14, the project was completed and new, lush, underlay installed and new carpet on top of that. The result is wonderful, clean, soft, and, quiet, it is very quiet.

From when we re-opened Tuesday morning we have been receiving comments from customers. They agree with us, it’s soft to walk on, and, it’s quiet.

While the project cost more than expected, the end result is well worth it. Along the way we have been reminded some things about shopfit works:

  • Be sure of the outcome you want.
  • Be thorough in your research, so you know the complete scope of the project.
  • Be clear what you want done in the project when seeking quotes.
  • Have a contingency in your budget so you can cope with surprises.
  • Health, safety and comfort of those working in the business and those shopping in the business has to be your top priority.
  • When it comes to flooring, if the shop is old, expect past changes to have been placed on top of old flooring, as it is cheaper.
  • The best flooring outcome starts with new flooring being placed on the base concrete or timber flooring in the building, and not on top of existing floor coverings.

Point 1 is always our position going into anything. it’s why we quickly agreed to the additional payment – we wanted then best outcome.

In terms of health, safety and comfort, we chose a more expensive underlay and this has been key to the customer comments over the last week since installation. The feel underfoot is wonderful.

While we want our shoppers to talk in good terms about what they buy in our shops, them talking in good terms about the experience is equally valuable, especially in a suburban high street situation like our Malvern shop. This is why we invest in shopfit upgrades and changes.

Every week we are making changes in this shop, introducing new product lines, moving fixtures, editing existing ranges and more. But, we are doing this in a small-steps approach – in part so as to not disrupt long-term customers who appreciate certainty (a thriving shop 2 doors away has had the same family owners since the 1930s) and to allow us to adjust as we learn.

On our current trajectory, we think it will be early 2023 before we have the shop feeling how we want it. Completing it before then could see us make changes too soon, and there is no win in that.

Also, our small-steps approach has us in control whereas a more traditional new shopfit approach would see the shoplifter in control and that’s not what we want as retailers.

Management tip

Insights from The Retail Summit in Dubai

I am grateful to have been able to attend The Retail Summit in Dubai earlier this week. Here is a video I shot yesterday in which I care some insights from the conference:

While it was terrific to be in a live conference setting again, the travel process was more complex and less enjoyable than it was priorate the pandemic, as you might expect.

I also got to see some innovative retail in the latest mall situation in Dubai. It was all corporate, big business type. But, nevertheless, worth seeing.

Newsagency management

Owning your retail space

I am just back from attending The Retail Summit in Dubai. It’s good getting out and looking at other retail again, after 2 years. One thing corporate retail does well is owning the retail space, with a whole of story visual. Here in indie retail world we do not do it well: there are too many messages, too much noise that is not connected, too many distractions.

This first one did feel a bit much, but … it was noticeable.

This one is a toy shop with all wall space dedicated to brands they sell – I suspect funded by the brands. but, nevertheless, effective.

Claire’s is an international chain. Their look has been like this for several years. Their corporate imagery frames the products they sell. Very cohesive.

Now, this last one is a bit different. It’s Typo, the Australian company. While there is a cohesive visual throughout the store, each wall is different. I included this photo to show how they use green life texture to make the shop more appealing.

We have done this is 2 of our shops. Not on the scale of Typo, but it does look good. In a newsagency business it works especially well behind the counter.


Let’s talk about theft in retail

My POS software company as a track record of service=, helping retailers detect and address theft – customer theft and employee theft. This includes work in0-store, with police, with prosecutors and in court as expert witnesses. This new video from a few days ago is designed to alert retailers to opportunities for detecting and addressing theft.


Promoting new cards drives card sales in the newsagency

I think it is important for retailers to promote new cards on social media. It is rare that newsagents do this, which feeds into the narrative of no, I won’t buy cards there because they are old.

We regularly pitch new cards to remind people of the regularity of change. I think it is a key reason for above average year on year sales growth in the category.

We use photos and quick to make videos, like this on from a few days ago.

This video was made for no cost, using an easily accessible tool. If that feels too hard, at least take a photo of a new card that you like and mention it on social media. That type of post is more valuable than one pitching any lottery product or mass market magazine.

Greeting Cards

Closing to re-carpet the newsagency

The new shop we took over in Malvern Victoria needs re-carpeting. We did some investigation under the existing carpet and sought professional advice. Given the age of the building, the multiple layers of flooring underneath, including some challenges, we decided to close from Friday through to and including Monday.

This closure allows the whole shop to be done properly and safely for all. Safety is the key here, given what is under the floor.

We have been letting customers know in-store an online. here’s the note we have provided:

News from newsXpress Malvern.

We are closed from 5pm Friday March 11 until 7am Tuesday March 15 so that we can replace the carpet in the shop with new carpet. This is a big job and the safest way to do it for our customers, employees and tradies is to close.

We apologise if this inconveniences you, but, safety is important.

Since we bought this business 12 weeks ago, we have made some changes. You might have noticed the new card wall and the new range of cards. New carpet is the next step.

We are also adjusting where we place the newspapers so we can introduce some gifts we think our customers will like.

Our commitment is to offer you the best range of magazines you’ll find in Melbourne, a wonderful range of cards, gifts you’ll love to give and stationery for home, and work.

Thank you for shopping with us, and sorry about being closed for 3 days.

Take care …

Guy and your newsXpress Malvern team.

This shop was in the same family for close to 40 years. We are being careful to not make big changes all at once. Last week it was the card wall and range of cards – all new. This weekend, it is the floor. Next, it is walls and the counter area. In a few months we will start to tackle the main shop floor fixtures.

Before we started any of these changes, we edited what was there, removing ice creams, drinks and everyday confectionery, while at the same time expanding the stationery offering. All of this done based on data.

We have a tight budget. Our approach is frugal, because we know every dollar spent has to be recovered.

Newsagency management

Buying a magazine

While Ryan Petersen, CEO of Flexport, a supply chain tech platform, posted this video of him buying copies of a magazine with him on the cover to note him not being noticed, I share it here because I, strangely, found it fascinating watching the transaction in the bodega, a convenience store, particularly found in New York. Beyond the transaction itself, it’s interesting to see what’s at the counter, so cluttered. And, I suspect this shop also sells lottery products.


The shock of selling fixtures from the newsagency shop floor

I was talking with a newsagent recently about their first purchase of home furnishing products, two tables for their shop, for displaying product. The tables cost $450.00 wholesale each. The day they unpacked the two tables and put them on the shop floor two separate customers asked how much. Without thinking, the newsagent said $1,195.00. each table was sold that day.

That was five years ago.

Today, that newsagency does $120,000 a year in gifts and $75,000 in home furnishing products. The average GP% for each category is 60%.

The story reminds me of several general truths the it comes to retail:

  • In the shop, everything is for sale.
  • Stock things you don’t expect to sell, because you are not your customer.
  • Having products people want gives you a margin opportunity you should always embrace.
  • A small step of success can lead to awesome things.
  • The shingle does not define our business.

I was thinking about these things when I shot a video recently in which I talked about opportunities outside of traditional seasons. While Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and similar are valuable, it is what we create for ourselves that is more valuable.

This is true in terms of what we sell. Today, there are more success opportunities outside of what we have traditionally seen in newsagency businesses, and, often, those success opportunities reveal themselves when we are not expecting it.

My point is, play outside what has been traditional for you and embrace where it takes you … don’t be constrained by the shingle and what you think it means.

newsagency of the future

Herald Sun slammed on review platform

The Herald Sun is having a rough time at www.productreview.com.au. Here are some reviews from the last couple of months, which I share as some speak to comments made by others here about newspaper deliveries:

Herald Sun has become a Lazy Journalist paper and full of advertising, which I know results in $$$ made. However, a lot is going on in the world. Doom, gloom and misfortune seems to be your story line. $2.50 for that?
Don’t think so…

I signed up for digital and hard copy of the Herald Sun for Fathers Day September 3rd 2021. Still haven’t received a paper, six months!!! Ring them every few weeks achieves nothing. Last time it was suggested to cancel and start again so we did. Now they tell me I have only missed 2 weeks! What do you do?

I spent 30 mins on hold just to cancel in this day and age a simple cancel now button would do without talking to someone who just tries to play marketing with you

Frustratingly poor poor service, very very disappointed.
From the 14th of February 2022, the Heraldsun changed delivery agents after which I have received only three newspapers in nine days for a seven day delivery customer..

The above is fact.

I have telephoned their number six times and spoken to helpful people who are sympathetic to our complaint but can only escalate the issue.

It seems that management does not care or bother to get involved personally.

For a customer who has paid in advance, not receiving the product that has been paid for is very annoying and frustrating.

You should be embarrassed
I have had my papers home delivered for over 5 years from my local news agent without a single problem.
Since the Herald sun took over the deliveries in December 2021, I have had nothing but problems.
Incorrect invoices, no deliveries , late deliveries and incorrect deliveries . There has not been one part of your service that you managed to get correct in the past 3 months.
After 3 emails and numerous phone calls, it is still not working .
I am now attempting to cancel my subscription but you have obviously set up your web site to make this as complex as possible.

Very easy to subscribe, very hard to cancel
Frustrating that in a digital age you have to call to cancel your subscription however it is super easy for you to subscribe online. I was on hold for over 20 minutes to try and cancel. Not a good service.

Home delivery of newscorp papers
After many years of being a loyal hone delivery customer they’ve change delivery service and haven’t been able to deliver the paper to us. After complaining to newscorp the driver put a rude obusive note in the letterbox. We’ve been promised a free paper for the month, then they charged our credit card. Absolutely hopeless and not worth the hassle dealing with them.

And this is from customers. The frustration experienced by newsagents who are approached by former home delivery customers about missed papers and other issues they are unable to fix in the new distribution model pursued by News Corp. What a mess! Customers are frustrated. Newsagents have their time wasted.

Newspaper distribution

Plush sales up 19% in January

In data just released, plush sales in Australian toy retailers in January were up 19% on last year, making the category a stand out among toy categories.

This is a terrific result for retailers in this space.

Now, for those wondering, plush is a broad category. It includes squishy, traditional bears, licences products as well as the everyday plush characters.

In a typical newsagency, less than a square metre of space can generate $15,000 or more year in revenue.

Newsagency opportunities

Old signs

When suppliers give away signs and offer to install them, years later we can see why. This is a photo from a shop that has been empty for years. A key principle of marketing is to have your brand seen.


Are Media to compete directly with gift and homewares retailers through Hard To Find acquisition

Are Media has announced its acquisition of the Hard To Find business. Hard to Find currently attracts 148,000 visitors (shoppers) a month. They dominate online for gifts:

The acquisition places Are media as a direct competitor of any retailer in the gift space, including newsagents.

While I get that Are Media needs to do what is best for its shareholders, they need to understand that this decision does make them our direct competitor. Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant. While the company has other e-commerce platforms, Hard To Find is on the mainstream online, it comes up in top search results.

Yes, I understand that it is a marketplace, driving traffic for other businesses that actually do the fulfilment. But, that is not how an online shopper sees they business. When they click add to basket, they are buying from Hard To Find.

Click here for the story from Mediaweek about the acquisition:

Are Media has announced the acquisition of Hard to Find.

The acquisition of the Australian e-commerce business significantly expands the media company’s existing content commerce capabilities, strengthens its revenue diversification strategy, and leverages Hard to Find’s market-leading technology to engage audiences even further with Are Media brands and content.

Hard to Find is an award-winning premium product marketplace, celebrating fun and innovative designs from the best small creative Australian businesses.

Founded in 2008 by former media executive Erica Stewart, the site brings an expertly-curated community of product designers and artisans together with discerning consumers looking for something different, creating a more personal maker-to-customer shopping experience.

Are Media CEO Jane Huxley said: “This acquisition adds new e-commerce capabilities to our broader business and allows us to amplify the success of Hard to Find, introducing audiences who are already inspired by our content and enticing them to take the relationship with trusted, authentic brands that one step further.

“I’m excited to welcome Hard to Find into the Are Media stable and particularly pleased that Eri will be joining our business to continue to lead the evolution of Hard to Find. She brings a wealth of experience and proven success in e-commerce that will help drive our future ambitions in content commerce.”

Hard to Find joins Are Media’s established and category-leading digital brand communities, including beautyheaven, trusted by 96% of its audience, and Bounty Parents, supporting parents and parents-to-be for more than 35 years.

What frustrates me about this is that Are Media splashes cash on this acquisition while refusing to make meaningful progress on poor commercial arrangements with newsagents for its magazines:

  • The paltry 25% commission paid for the sale of their titles.
  • That newsagents have to fund theft of magazines in-store while supermarkets do not.
  • That newsagents have to pay to receive electronic invoices for products while in almost all other retail sectors electronic invoices are free.
  • That labour management processes for magazines are rooted in the 1980s, and cost newsagents hours, disadvantaging them.
  • That newsagents lose hours chasing delivery shortages through a system that presumes guilt until call or email 3 or 4.

And, now, we can add that Are Media owns a business that directly competes with us for gift related sales.

Final word: if you think I’m saying they should not have acquired the business … I am not saying that. rather, I want Are Media management to be more respectful of newsagents and this acquisition story is an opportunity to make this point.


Some photos from the newsagency from 12+ years ago

Unfortunately, newsagents are still encouraged to create magazine displays to chase a cash prize, and supermarkets are still paid for premium shop floor placement.

It’s tactical placement that drives impulse purchases of a magazine. Af for traffic generation, displays pitching special interest or niche titles provide more value than displays for mass weeklies or monthlies.


Pitching magazine range on social media

It took me 5 or so minutes to make this social media post. It has worked a treat not only attracting social media engagement, but, in-store too.

There is no doubt we get more traction from promoting special interest titles than high volume weeklies and monthlies.


Why are your EFTPOS merchant fees rising?

It’s an easy complaint to make – my merchant fees are going up, it’s not fair, time for me to consider another supplier.

Okay, yeah, that’s an easy take. It’s a cheap shot by me to call it out. But, let me explain and explore it with you.

My advice is to look at your data first.

I’ve looked at hundreds of thousands of baskets from many retail businesses.

The most common reason merchant fees are increasing is because of more sales transacted using EFTPOS.

While sometimes the actual fee basis, flat fee per Tx or percentage, increases, this is rare.

Yes, the most common reason a retailer paid more in merchant fees last month than the month before is because more transactions were paid for on a card.

So, the EFTPOS provider is not the cause of the issue.

Newsagents in some marketing groups have access to preferential rates that see them paying the lowest fees in the country.

But, that addresses only the base cost.

To address the growing cost to the business, of people using a card to pay, you need to be an engaged retailer. Here are some ideas:

  • Promote cash payment – if you want the costs associated with cash of course.
  • Be clear as to the cost of using a card. You could apply a surcharge, which I think is a ridiculous idea though.
  • Price knowing that cards will be used. Build the cost into your pricing model. Keep the bump under 2% and it is less likely to be noticed.
  • Lower a cost elsewhere to cover the cost. Look at your labour cost, for example. Shaving a hour of employee rostered time can save you around $30.00, that’s equal to purchases of $3750.00 on a card – depending on the type of card used.
  • Increase sales. While you should be single-mindedly focussed on this anyway, increasing sales helps you address the EFTPOS cost and more in the business.

It’s easy to kick a bank over EFTPOS fees. But … before you do that, look at your own behaviour. Here are common points in retail businesses that retailers overlook when they kick a supplier:

  • Dead stock. It’s easy to identity but often not. A problem not seen is not a problem to some. In my experience on conducting an audit of stock performance, usually, 20% of stock on the shop floor over which the retailer has full control underperforms and should not be there.
  • Bloated roster. Some prefer to spend money on people so they have time to themselves for relaxing, golf or to sit in the back office, where no customer purchases from.
  • Wrong trading hours. Some stay open too long while others are not open long enough. Either way has a cost to the business.
  • Being blind to theft. Theft in retail, like a local newsagency business, costs on average between 3% and 5% of turnover. Not watching for it, tracking it and mitigating against it has a cost to the business.
  • The wrong product mix. GP% is a key measure of retail business performance. Increasing yours beyond what is traditional for your channel provides you with a buffer. For example, transaction count / sales can decline and you can be okay. Measure GP%. Set a goal. Chase it. The air is cleaner in above average.
  • Ignorance. It’s not bliss. It’s not! There are insights in your software that can guide better decisions, faster decisions, more financially rewarding decisions. Yet, too many in retail don’t want to know. That failure costs them plenty.

The 6 items on the above list are all on the retailer to address.

I get that it’s easy to complain about high EFTPOS fees. If you are contemplating that, please take a moment to look back inside your business, look at the reason why and see if there are decisions you could make that are more valuable than complaining about EFTPOS fees or changing supplier. I’d be happy to help.

Newsagency challenges

Tabcorp reaches out to flood impacted retailers

Management at Tabcortp’s TheLott sent this to retailers:

Dear Retailer,


The past few days has been very unsettling and difficult, with the recent floods causing significant damage and disruption to our local communities and businesses.

To help retailers who are impacted, the Queensland and Federal Government has activated assistance for affected individuals and businesses. I encourage you to review the information below to see what emergency assistance you may be eligible for.

Disaster assistance for individuals

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment This is a lump-sum payment of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child if you are eligible.


At this stage, the Local Government Areas of Gympie and North Burnett can make a claim until Friday 26 August 2022.


Please visit this dedicated website to find out more and how you can apply. Please continue to check this website regularly as we expect more Local Government Areas to be added to the eligibility list over the coming days.


Personal Hardship Financial Assistance This financial assistance has been activated for Queensland communities who have been impacted by the rainfall and flooding in the Local Government Areas of Gympie and North Burnett.


Please visit this dedicated website to find out more information, and please continue to check this page regularly as we expect more Local Government Areas will be added to the activation areas over the coming days.



Disaster assistance for businesses

Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) The DRA assists employees, small businesspersons, and farmers who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster.


You might be eligible for a maximum of 13 weeks’ payment from the date you have or will have a loss of income as a direct result of a disaster.


The DRA will be available to the affected Local Government Areas of Gympie and North Burnett, with further flood-affected Local Government Areas expected to be added in coming days, as the damage becomes clear.


If your business falls in these Local Government Areas and you have been impacted by the floods, we encourage you to phone the DRA on 180 22 66 or visit this dedicated website to find out more.



Further support and information

Community Recovery Hotline Please call this hotline on 1800 173 349 if you are experiencing emotional stress or require personal financial hardship from this event.
National Retail Association Government Grant support Please call the National Retail Association on 1800 573 322 or via email at policy@nra.net.au who has a dedicated team on standby to help navigate the Government Grants that you could potentially be eligible for, which may include disaster relief.


Please monitor the above websites regularly for any further changes as the situation evolves.

If your outlet has been impacted recently by flooding and you would like to discuss this further, please reach out to your Business Development Manager.

Take care and stay safe.


Looking forward to OPIx 2022 in August

OPIx 2022 was announced today:


Tuesday, 1 March 2022

After 2 years apart, the independent office products suppliers, resellers and retailers will join together for the OPIx 2022 Industry Expo at The Star Gold Coast on Saturday 13th August 2022.

The Supplier Expo attracted over 400 delegates in 2019 to provide newsagents and independent dealers across the country access to a wide range of suppliers, new products and exclusive offers.  Inaugural partners Office Choice and GNS Wholesale are excited to announce an expanded partnership with the Newspower and newsXpress groups who will be supporting the event in attendance with their members.

The weekend event will consist of a full day industry expo with suppliers and delegates from Office Choice, Newspower newsXpress and GNS with an invitation extended to the broader independent sector.  Following the Industry Expo, the OPIx Gala Dinner & Awards night will reward the high achievers across Office Choice and GNS with the Office Choice Conference ensuring members get the most value out of their weekend.

OPIx2022 is proudly supported by Platinum sponsors ACCO Brands Australia, Opal Australian Paper and Furnx.

All Covid safety protocols will be followed in conjunction with event management to ensure a safe event for all participants.

Office Choice and GNS Wholesale launched the event in 2019 with the support of the industry, to promote the interests of the broader independent office products channel. It’s aim,with the participation of other industry groups, is the event will become the highlight of the annual industry calendar.

Office Choice, GNS Wholesale, Newspower and newsXpress are committed to working with all of our valued supply partners to ensure maximum value and return on investment for the supplier community. We look forward to your support as we continue to build a strong future for the independent business supplies resellers of Australia. This event is sure to be a highlight of the annual industry calendar.