Home' The Channel Magazine : The Channel October 2016 Contents The Channel | 13
hen John and Kathryn Leckie purchased
the newsagent in the inner western Sydney
suburb of Leichhardt, they quickly realised
they had to invest more money to get a return. The
previous owner closed down and left an empty shell.
None of the fixtures that remained were salvageable and
the Leckies would have to rebuild the newsagency from
The Leckies were already successful newsagents. Their
Nextra Winston Hills store, based in the foot of the hills district
of Sydney, was already in the top ten lottery locations in NSW.
They had gone through the decline in traditional print media
circulation, balanced the sales with more profitable product
lines and built a business that served their community’s needs.
“So we had a look at it and thought it wouldn’t work.
We had to replace more than we thought we would,” tells
John Leckie. “It was an old traditional newsagent and we
In November 2014, the Leckies began the process of
researching shopfitters and visiting various newsagents.
They were impressed with a number of newsagency fitouts
completed in Queensland and decided to employ the services
of Rev Retail.
“We liked the work they did. We went up to Brisbane
to look at some of the shops they [Rev Retail] did and
thought that’ll work for us,” said John. “We spent a lot of
time researching it. The other thing is they’re in and out – so
minimum downtime. They said 20 days and it took 20 days.”
Rev Retail’s Emmett Bailey and his team flew down to
Sydney to inspect the location. In consultation with the Leckies
they came up with the initial designs. However, the challenges
began as soon as the drafting ink dried, as the centre
management stalled progress and demanded changes to the
“The biggest problem was centre management. They kept
saying you can’t do this and you can’t do that. Plans had to
be redrawn to suit them.” said John. “We wanted a window
and they stipulated how they wanted it to be. We got the
brown and black at the front, while we would’ve preferred [the
Nextra] red there ... It just takes ages to deal with that.”
After centre management finally agreed to the plans,
Rev Retail’s team flew most of the shopfitting crew down to
Sydney, while the rest of the team drove down with tools and
the fixtures were delivered by trucks. John was happy they
kept to the final quote price, excluding spend for additional
While the build went relatively smoothly, the lotto monitors
were not ready by opening day. By the time of stocking
the store, there was also challenges in getting the required
magazine quantities delivered as requested.
“We had to get [ALNA’s] Adam [Joy] to send photos to
the publishers because there were virtually no magazines.
The publishers had them, but we were asking why the
distributors weren’t supplying them,’ said John. Outside of
these frustrations, the build and processing of stock orders
went relatively smoothly. The Leckies decided to stock the
Leichhardt store with new product lines and not draw from
their Winston Hills location. “Our house was full of stock. We
had a computer system at the time to process the stock.”
Merchandising the store was done with the assistance
of card companies such as John Sands, as well as stationery
suppliers GNS and some gift wear companies. A lot of
pre-work was done behind the scenes with the shopfitters
supplying the drawings to the card companies so they could
develop store-specific planograms.
The store opened prior to 2015 Father’s Day. Apart from a
more modern design, one of the initial surprises to customers
was positioning newspapers almost half way into the store.
Research presented in Shopper Marketing: How to increase
purchase decisions at the point of sale by Markus Stahlberg et
al. shows that 68% of purchases are not planned in advanced.
While a customer comes into the store to buy a newspaper,
the Leckies have set up their store with the aim for them to
purchase “unexpected” items.
“You have your traditional newsagency lines that people
are going to come in for anyway. You might as well get them
walking through something else,” said John. “Gone are the
days of taking two steps to get the lotto and newspaper. Might
as well get a kiosk if you’re going to do that.”
One of the immediate impacts when entering the store is the
unconscious slowing down in walking speed. The entrance of
the store, the wide aisles and carpeted gift wear area, all work
Investing in the future:
Nextra Leichhardt Shopfit
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