Home' The Channel Magazine : JUNE 2010 Contents National Newsagent June 2010 21
We had better get
'Back to the Future'
The relatively new and humble mobile
phone has already become an essential
companion, particularly for the Gen Y
crop of upwardly mobile people. The iPad
and upcoming tablet devices from other
manufacturers will simply mean that
society will be able to do more, faster,
sooner and better than we have done
before. Think about your frustration when
your computer goes slow for one reason
or another. Now think about the task you
were performing on your computer and
how you may have performed that task
without it. My theory is that computers
have made people perform faster, sooner
and better. Whether you like it or not, we
have actually grown intellectually to keep
up with technology.
Now is the time for newsagents to grow
intellectually, to embrace new and exciting
products and services. Remember, your
customer buys mostly on impulse. All
you need to do is trigger that impulse
by having magazines and newspapers
displayed well. Experiment with new
products like gift lines and the latest
talking and singing greeting cards.
It would be remiss of me not to remind
you to embrace telecommunications as a
category in your store. Stock and display
the latest pre-paid mobile phones. Get in
on the mobile broadband explosion. The
fastest growing pre-paid product is mobile
broadband. If you haven't done anything
with mobile yet, don't let this one slip by you.
You have the opportunity to sell more
mobile recharge. You have the opportunity
to sell data and SIM cards. Maybe even the
opportunity to sell devices.
Embrace it and be honest about the
future. It's not doom and gloom. The future
is bright but different.
James Simadas, Jenlist Distributors
Convenience and speed
Peter Ciliberto of C-Direct says we should learn
from music and video stores
Over the next decade, some of the
new technologies that are just
starting to impact newsagencies will
become pervasive. Like photo mini
labs, music stores and video stores,
newsagents will need to adopt a new
business model in order to adapt to the
Newsagents are already
experiencing declining sales of
newspapers and magazines. Is this
going to stabilise or even slow down?
Today's consumers (and more
importantly, tomorrow's consumers)
want convenience and speed. Many
already get instant news content sent
to their computers and increasingly
mobile phones. Why do they need to
buy a newspaper? News consumers
can elect to receive news items of their
specific interest, delivered direct -- fast
We have changes already here and
developments on the horizon that will
directly affect traditional newsagency
1. Faster and cheaper broadband -
especially if the National Broadband
Network gets off the ground.
2. Faster and cheaper Mobile
broadband -- Telstra expects to be
offering up to 100GB download speeds
via their Next G Network within the
next 12 months, equivalent to the NBN
start up speed.
3. Apple iPad is already revolutionising
the way people buy and read books
4. Electronic services currently
provided through your in-store
terminal will progressively move to
wireless paperless transactions direct
to consumers' phones. This is already
available, it's just not well known yet.
It's not all doom and gloom though.
The local newsagency is still a strong
entity, perhaps even a focus point,
in many communities. Newsagents
must work to retain the streams that
still provide revenue, and to add new
streams that maintain their relevance
into the future.
1. In regional or rural centres, look at
filling the gaps left by the very three
declining stores mentioned -- music,
photo, video. embrace the 'store within
a store' concept.
2. Embrace new technology as it
arrives. Don't ignore it -- it's not going
away! You can range and sell new tech
devices, like Pre Paid Wireless USB kits
and mobile handsets.
3. Make your store friendly and
convenient. Provide a good range of
convenience store products. (Another
gap to fill? Do you have a local
4. Add more agencies to your range
-- LPO, Lotto, dry cleaning. There are
still plenty of services that can't be
So, is your newsagency ready
for the next wave of technology?
Complacency can be fatal. Just think
how many photo shops, music stores
or video shops were washed away by
the initial waves! Without changes
to the traditional business model,
the same thing can and will happen
to newsagents. Now is the time to
prepare for tomorrow!
Facebook, Twitter, Flikr or You Tube could
possibly wipe out up to 50% of your current
greeting card business
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