Home' The Channel Magazine : N-view 2012 Contents N-View 2012
Newspaper publishers do not know what the next five years
will bring and are unable or unwilling to commit to change. The
lack of contracts and the uncertainty has created issues for
newsagents wanting to either develop or sell their businesses
and it does not appear that there will be any resolution for at
least the first half of 2012.
The ANF and state Associations are continuing to present
options and models to both publishers. There needs to nation-
wide reform but each state has very different requirements.
Publishers are not allowed compare notes on the issue and thus
the process is long and circular.
There will undoubtedly be winners and losers in any change;
there will be standards, compliance and sales targets to be met.
Newsagents would just like to see some certainty.
In submissions to News Limited and Fairfax throughout 2011,
the ANF, QNF, VANA and NANA presented a number of key
principles that they consider will underpin a more positive and
productive relationship between News Limited and newsagents
as the industry faces major restructuring.
MAJOr pOiNTs iN ThE subMissiON:
• Contracts should encourage investment in the business and
the goodwill should be acknowledged, maintained and not
• An effective and efficient distribution system should be based
on a service Level Agreement with agreed KPIs that bind
the publishers, newsagents and Associations with incentives
for exceeding the agreed levels and penalties for failure to
perform. one of the keys to improvement is the development
and implementation of a new contractual system that
establishes clear obligations on publishers and newsagents.
• 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 publisher.
• 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.
• 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.
iN sOuTh AusTrAliA
often regarded as the vanguard of new distribution models,
Advertiser Newspapers Pty Ltd (APNL) advised newsagents
earlier in 2011 they were ‘taking back the farm’ and would make
all home delivery customers subscribe directly with ANPL via
ReMoDeLLINg The sYsTeM
the biggest challenge to newspaper distribution is that the current business model is no longer
viable. costs are rising but remuneration is not and overall newspaper sales are declining.
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