Home' The Channel Magazine : National Newsagent July 2012 Contents National Newsagent July 2012
THE FRUSTRATION OF
However, one newsagent's recent experience outlines just how
and why newsagents are frustrated, why they need to early return
and why they are moving away from depending on magazine
sales in their stores. This continuing problem damages the
magazine category for everyone.
National Newsagent has tried to outline both sides of the
story to outline why magazine management remains the single
most time consuming and frustrating aspect of a newsagency
business. Part of which occurs because what is good for the
distributor's model is not always best for the newsagent's model
when low sales cost more to process than the income derived
from that sale.
Griffith (ACT) newsagent Alan Macdonald asked Network
Services for a range review so he could better manage his
magazines. Alan said he is keen to develop the sale of his
magazines and wants to work with distributors. "I am not a
ratbag," says Alan. "I really want to sell more magazines within
the confines of my small shop but the Network system is set up
so you can't reduce titles to the numbers you can manage."
"I asked for a range review a few weeks ago and am yet to
receive it, so I asked Network if there was a reason?"
Network channel manager Dale Smith
The best way to view the magazines you receive and the
allocation quantity in on your NETonline account under the
'Returns' page, at the top you will find an 'Issue Status Report'.
A business decision has been made not to supply agents with
average sales reports because average sales figures are just
a small part of what needs to be considered when managing
the magazine category. A newsagent's point-of-sale system not
only has this information it also has a host of other category
management tools which allow newsagents to flush out poor
performing products. If an agent wants access to this type of
information but is unsure of how to do it, I recommend consulting
their POS provider for assistance. Agents who do make use of these
tools are able to successfully minimise waste without impacting
sales. Agents who make decisions solely based on average sales
figures tend to sacrifice sales in an attempt to reduce waste, which
in a supply or return arrangement isn't necessary. Newsagents,
distributors and publishers are all striving to maximise sales,
therefore Network Services has decided it is in the best interest of
all three parties to avoid providing newsagents with information
that is likely to be used to the detriment of the magazine category.
Newsagent, Alan replied
This process does not readily give me the data I am after. A
range review that gave me the quantity of my standing order and
my average sales over the past three months was an invaluable
tool for me to ensure we were stocking a good, balanced range
of magazines, space for new titles while ensuring that titles that
met the needs of the local community were kept. I change my
allocation on a weekly basis as Network sends me excessive
copies of titles that I have previously cancelled or am not selling.
I am finding this process increasingly time consuming in a day
that starts at 3:30am and finishes at 7:30pm at the earliest.
I increased my standing order when I took over two new
delivery territories in August 2011 and February 2012. I sent a
specific list of titles that I wanted added to my standing order.
This has opened a Pandora's Box for Network to add titles and
significantly increase the number of copies I receive of titles not
on that list.
• I used to receive about five copies of The Economist and sell
about two; no request for an increase yet I now receive 15-18. I
cannot adjust this on NETonline.
• I used to receive five copies of Zoo Weekly and sell about three.
I requested an increase of 54 copies I now receive about 70. I
cannot adjust this on NETonline.
• I used to receive one or two copies of Sanctuary. No request for
an increase yet I now receive six yet sell only one.
I have tried what Network suggested and adjusted one by
one and I just completed the A's. It took one hour---just another
25 hours of work ahead. Based on the method that NDC has
invented in calculating an average, after 20 years of teaching
maths I cannot work out how the sale of one magazine in 10
issues produces an average greater than one!
The biggest problem for agents is they are using the average
sale information provided to their detriment. Agents are cutting
down on supply to on or even below their average sale, this can
only result in the average sale decreasing, along with sales
and therefore revenue. Agents are more likely to make better
judgement calls by looking at the volatility of titles in their POS
system or on NETonline.
Publishers and distributors like to suggest that it is the newsagents'
failings when they complain about over supply and magazine management.
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