Home' The Channel Magazine : February 2011 Contents National New sagent February 2011 29
In the UK, newspaper publishers are also changing
the rules to try to maintain newspaper sales:
Guardian launches direct delivery in UK
The Guardian has joined the Financial Times and News
International in offering a direct-to-consumer delivery service
in London. The Subscriber Direct service guarantees home
delivery of The Guardian before 7am Monday to Saturday
and of The Observer before 8.30am on Sunday in selected
postcodes within the M25. The service is free as long as
readers choose to have one full-price issue of the weekday
Guardian and one of the weekend papers. The move has
brought criticism from retailers who see this as the publisher
trying to bypass them. The Guardian’s response is that it is
only targeting holes in the home delivery network.
Mail launches indie retailer group
Mail Newspapers has selected 200 independent
retailers around the country to join their flagship group. Each
retailer will receive a complete rebranding of their fascias,
along with advice, support and promotions to help them
grow sales of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday through
both home news delivery and casual sales. Planogramming,
store layout advice, regular contact from a retail rep, regular
access to both publisher and wholesaler in meetings – these
are all key elements of the service. In effect, Mail Newspapers
is creating its own symbol group, allowing them to carry the
CD and DVD giveaways with the newspapers that are often
excluded from independents for logistical reasons. The
selection of the retailers has been based on location + size +
attitude: the selected retailers have to be both capable of and
Frontline rolling out branded stores
Frontline has been using the Mail Newspapers’ retail
field force to run its latest independent retailer campaign.
The project has targeted 70 stores, providing them with
shelf-strips, category flags and window display units.
Frontline claims that sales in these outlets between April and
September have risen by 4% while the rest of the market saw
a 10% drop. The distributor hopes to have 500 stores up and
running in the scheme by the end of January.
Smiths News’ category management
Wholesaler Smiths News is launching a new category
management service to independent retailers. A monthly
advice pack will be backed up by a store visit to the larger
outlets. The pack includes Category of the Month with
planograms and information on bestselling titles with a
monthly focus on issues such as supply management,
promotions, point of sale and EPOS (EFTPOS).
◗ Any industry adjustment process should involve Commonwealth
and State Governments in developing structural adjustment
programs along similar lines to those in other industries that have
undergone restructuring. There are likely to be winners and losers
in the adjustment process. Contracts need to be structured so that
newsagents have a bankable basis for long-term investment. There
needs to be processes in place to facilitate industry restructuring.
◗ The local knowledge of newsagents needs to be considered as the
models must make business sense to the newsagent as well as to
◗ The new information system to support the channel must be based
on identifying and meeting the needs of publishers, newsagents
and customers and to ensure that the information system meets
newsagents’ operational and planning needs. The standard for
newspapers should be the same as for many other large-scale, time-
dependent logistics operations. The development of the IT system
is a precondition for the successful implementation of service
level agreements and KPIs. News Limited needs to consult the
Associations and newsagents on their information needs.
◗ The retail system needs to be reinvigorated and the Associations,
working with the publishers, can play a major role in increasing
and maintaining standards with the Associations playing a major
role in providing improved training. There is also the need for
publishers’ investment in the retail footprint, assisting with fit-outs
and lengthening retail contracts. The retail-only newsagent should
retain the full commission on the product to encourage them to be
the shopfront for News. Having the specialised retailer will enhance
the retail experience for all customers.
◗ The key to selling more newspapers at the retail level is to build
and strengthen the relationship between the newsagent and the
customer. Compliance can be ensured using set KPIs applicable to
the retail agent so they are supporting the publisher’s promotions
and by achieving these targets the retail agent would receive higher
promotional margins than they do presently.
◗ The Associations consider that the relationship between
newsagents and subagents should remain as is, but the proposed
Service Level Agreement, KPIs and performance incentives should
extend to subagents so that the relationship is better managed by
both newsagents and subagents.
◗ For small subagents or those with minimal requirements which
are not cost effective to service, changes are needed such as
minimum sales or fixed fee drop rates or firm sale
The submission concluded with the point that customers desire a
good quality product delivered on time; newsagents require a cost
effective and profitable delivery mechanism and the publishers
need to maximise sales. Newsagents and their Associations wish
to work with newspaper publishers to achieve this vision which will
meet and exceed customer expectations, provide industry best
practice and sell more newspapers as efficiently as possible.
There are likely to be winners and losers in the adjustment
process The current business model is no longer viable.
FROM THE UK
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