Home' The Channel Magazine : National Newsagent July 2012 Contents QUeeNSlaND
NEWSAGENT OF THE YEAR AWARD - DISTRIBUTIONOFThE
National Newsagent July 2012
National Newsagent was aware of Chris and
Dee as exceptional retailers and wonderfully
creative dressers at every occasion, but
distribution... when and how did they start to
specialise in distribution?
Why did you decide to expand your
distribution at a time of newspaper
I could see that in distribution it was either
to get bigger or get out. We took on more
territories, three of which were surrendered to
News Limited, and we purchased two others to
make a total of six.
There are only so many people you can get through the door of
the shop, so by increasing our distribution territories we cast our
net wider to attract more customers. Every time we have added
a new territory we have seen an increase in shop sales. When
a home delivery customer comes in store to pay their account
there is the opportunity to up sell another product. Lotto, cards
and magazines have seen a marked increase due to this.
Have growing the numbers brought economies of scale?
Yes, it has. We have amalgamated delivery runs thereby reducing
wages and vehicle requirements, with better use of equipment.
Due to the increase in distribution we were no longer able to
continue to operate from the rear of the store, and 20 months
ago moved into a factory unit fitted out to handle the distribution
We have invested more than $70,000 in equipment including
two Joyner newspaper flat wrap machines, pallet cages and
trolleys for easy of stock movement, benching fitted with carton
rollers to eliminate lifting, strapping tables and delivery vans.
The size of the ‘man cave’ allows for future expansion of the business.
How many staff members are involved?
We employ an administration person plus a total of nine
delivery staff, with each driver working a maximum of five nights
a week. There are five staff members each night and I work up
to four nights a week. There are two drivers who know each
territory, plus myself, and in some cases up to three. This is a
safe guard in times of sickness, holidays and staff changes. It
sometimes takes a few goes at finding the right staff but we value
customer service so it is important to employ the right people. New
delivery drivers may take up to four weeks to train to our standards.
I also continue to undertake deliveries into
all the territories so that I can stay in touch with
this side of the business.
In what sort of area do you operate?
It is mixed. We have young and older
customers residing in a range of locations
including normal street deliveries, gated
communities, high rise buildings, retirement
villages and nursing homes— the whole
spectrum. Our shop is in a high street location.
Why are you so successful in distribution?
I think it is the personal service we give. We make sure the
papers are thrown where the customer requests. We double wrap
when it is wet. We look after the older customers by delivering
to their doors . We just had some horrible wet weather (in
Queensland?!) and we had no complaints about wet papers.
We also service the subagents well. We have 72 subagents and
we review their magazine allocation regularly. If the forecast the
weekend is for rain; that will mean an increase in newspaper and
magazine sales so we will adjust subagent supplies accordingly.
When we take over supply to new subagents we generally find
they have inappropriate magazines— titles they would never sell. We
analyse their magazine range and supply accordingly. One subagent
increased their sales four fold. The subs are happy because we
communicate with them and work with them to maximise sales.
How many papers and magazines do you deliver?
We deliver 36,000 newspapers weekly and 5,000 magazines
monthly and sponsor the Courier Mail into 16 schools.
What of the future for newspaper distribution?
We will still focus on newspaper distribution and I think there
will be readers for one or two more generations. It is good that
News Limited is rewriting the model and basing it on a fee for
service. This will enable larger hubs, making distribution more
viable. Perhaps we will have to create a different company
involving other distributors based on their size of their rounds.
I understand News Limited will rewrite the territories and
maybe end current contracts. That is something we will probably
know before the industry conference. It will be interesting to
Congratulations to Dee and Chris Pieper of Chirn Park News who are the Queensland
newsagents of the Year for 2012.
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