How newsXpress is helping small business newsagents through Covid and more

Almost all newsXpress stores did not qualify for JobKeeper because revenue is up. Even better, many newsXpress stores have experienced good GP% growth as more higher-margin products are in the pool of products growing.

Through unique supplier relationships and commercially valuable terms, newsXpress can help its member retailers attract new shoppers, achieve a more bigger basket value and reach an above average GP% for the business.

newsXpress serves newsagency businesses of all sizes. Most are in regional Australia or suburban high street situations. Many are in small towns. Less than 10% of newsXpress members are in shopping centres.

At newsXpress, nothing is mandatory. Size and location do not matter.

Here is some of what newsXpress has done in 2020 with and for its members:

  • Early access to state and territory grants. Even where they did not quality for JobKeeper newsXpress helped plenty make the case for grant funding.
  • Rent relief. Direct and practical helping achieving rent relief, which has ranged from 25% off rent for 6 months to 75% off rent for 6 months.
  • Bonus GP%. On top of newsXpress preferential pricing, 51 suppliers provided an additional 5% of GP April through June on all purchases.
  • First with jigsaws. In February newsXpress pitched jigsaws as a growth category in a Covid world. newsXpress members grabbed inventory, and achieved excellent sales. One rural business went from selling $500 in jigsaws a month to $3,500+ a month for several months.
  • Online with jigsaws. In March newsXpress turned on a national jigsaw website connected to newsXpress stores to win delivery and click and collect sales. It’s been a hit.
  • First with nesting. In March, newsXpress identified nesting as a popular growth category. Members following the advice added thousands of dollars in revenue.
  • New suppliers. newsXpress has added 20 new suppliers in recent months, almost all of whom have not previously dealt with newsagents.
  • Half price website development. With Tower Systems newsXpress delivered beautiful POS software linked Shopify sites for individual stores for $2,500 (inc. GST).
  • Daily email. Sent each morning, by 7am with updated supplier deals, to-do tips for staff and more. Designed for a fast, time-efficient, read.
  • Mask access. From June, newsXpress offered masks through several suppliers.
  • Subsidised online sales. newsXpress launched subsidised shipping for online sales connected to 100+ local newsXpress stores. The websites deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars across participating newsXpress stores annually.
  • Click and collect. From March newsXpress offered practical advice and guidance on how to do click and collect, to win new business. It’s been a hit.
  • Daily Zoom meetings. These started March 15 and have run Monday – Friday ever since. The sessions are filmed and 75+ members watch the videos daily. In the sessions newsXpress meet with suppliers, stay on top of news, motivate each other and more.
  • Sunday drinks. Every Sunday @ 4pm. This is a more relaxed chat.
  • Engaging social media campaigns. Five months ago, newsXpress launched Storytime, exclusive daily social media targeted stories that provide an emotional narrative members can use on social media.

This list is not complete, newsXpress helps and supports in many other ways.

2020 has been a year of opportunities. Newsagents embracing the opportunities are recasting the GP%, shopper traffic and operating overhead cost basis of their businesses for a brighter future.

Storytime: we love supporting charities at Christmas

Storytime:  When we work out the Christmas cards we will have in the shop, we look at the charities they support as much as the card designs because we know plenty of people who make purchase decisions based on the charities.

We are grateful to have Christmas cards that support Beyond Blue, the Starlight Foundation, the Peter Mac Cancer Centre, R U OK?, Make A Wish and more. These charities do good work and knowing that sending Christmas cards help them in their work is, we think, important to our customers. #DoingGood #Christmas #CharityCards

Storytime: we are grateful…

Storytime:  This story is on behalf of our fellow local small business owners and their families. Thank you! Thank you so much for shopping local this year, for trusting us with needs that you might have bought elsewhere, maybe closer to where you usually work or maybe even online. Local retailers have seen a surge in local shopping and that is why we are saying thank you. We sincerely appreciate your support and everyone who depends on our business appreciates it, and appreciates you. You have no idea what your help means to us. #grateful #appreciation #ThankYou

Storytime: we love supporting Australian artists

Storytime:  Looking at all the beautiful Australian designed Christmas cards this year we are so happy to have the work of Australian artists on our shelves. They work for months in their studios on their designs, bringing to life in art how people feel at Christmas time and the feelings they want to share with others. Seeing the work of these Aussie artists come to life in a whole range of cards is wonderful. We are so proud to stock so much Australian art. Our shop feels like an art gallery. We love it! #ChristmasCards #Aussie #Artists #Love #Art

This is newsXpress – a free live newsagency marketing workshop

Today, we are hosting an open forum @ 10:30am to outline what newsXpress offers and how it works.

With interest in newsXpress among newsagents and suppliers strong, it feels like a good time to offer this session.

Here are the details for joining in – anyone is welcome:

https://zoom.us/j/99657147413?pwd=dmhaa2VHK0pyb1M1bHZSeUxOMDNLUT09
Meeting ID: 996 5714 7413 Passcode: 081628

In the meeting we will be joined by a new products expert who will speak to net new traffic generating products, a millennial shopper expert who will speak to attracting that type of shopper and a data expert who will speak to how data can drive profitable business decisions.

newsXpress is grateful to have welcomed new members to the group over recent months, adding to this community of newsagents keen for new ideas and happy to embrace a culture of optimism.

Storytime: why we’re selling out of magazines…

Storytime:  You may have noticed some holes in our magazine shelves recently. We want to take a moment to explain what is happening. In fact, several things are happening. Due to Covid, magazines are not being brought to Australia by plane, which is a good thing for the environment. Also, with advertising down, publishers are printing fewer copies, which results in less wastage, which is also a good thing. The last reason for empty spaces on our magazine shelves is you. Yes, you are buying more magazines, for which we are sincerely grateful.

Crossword, puzzle, craft, hobby, food and special interest magazines are by far the most popular. We are glad to be able to play a role in helping you be entertained and connected in this isolated 2020. #magazines #crosswords #craft

Australia … thank you!

2020 has been some year for sure, and it is not over yet. Today, we write to say thank you Australia, thank you for supporting us, for helping us remain open so that we can serve the wider community. Thank you.

We are grateful to have been able to serve you this year and because of this …

We helped keep people informed.

We have served local communities through Covid with shopper safety top of mind.

We have helped people relax by offering awesome jigsaws, crosswords and maker craft items.

We have helped homes remain calm by sourcing beautiful Australian made candles.

We have shone a light on local makers giving them retail outlets for their creativity when local markets closed down.

We have helped with home office supplies.

We have provided support for home schooling by finding resources that help.

We have delivered locally on behalf of loved-ones far away who could not visit.

We have kept local people in work.

So, thank you Australia. Your support means a lot!

Early Christmas card sales in 2020

Storytime: ”That’s a lot of Christmas cards,” I said to regular customer Nancy, who is known as a big card giver. “Yes,” she said, pushing 15 boxes of 10 cards each across the counter, “I have revised my list and added many people to it. Everyone needs Christmas cards this year, more than ever before.” “Good for you Nancy.”

As I bagged up the cards, Nancy explained. “I’d cut people over the years, pairing back and all that. But the other day I thought if people feel how I feel this year they would love to get a Christmas card and they’d love to get it early. So, that’s what I’m doing, spreading Christmas cheer early.”

“Well done Nancy and thanks for shopping here for them.” We appreciate every one of our local shoppers who support local community businesses.

We are seeing everyday generosity from customers in their purchases with Christmas already popular and here we are only in September. People like Nancy are looking for ways to share joy and love with those they care about. It is wonderful to see. #Christmas #love #cards #hope #happiness

How newsXpress is helping its members through Covid and other 2020 challenges.

Here is some of what newsXpress has done in 2020 with and for its members:

  • Early access to state and territory grants. Even where they did not quality for JobKeeper newsXpress helped plenty make the case for grant funding.
  • Rent relief. Direct and practical helping achieving rent relief, which has ranged from 25% off rent for 6 months to 75% off rent for 6 months.
  • Bonus GP%. On top of newsXpress preferential pricing, 51 suppliers provided an additional 5% of GP April through June on all purchases.
  • First with jigsaws. In February newsXpress pitched jigsaws as a growth category in a Covid world. newsXpress members grabbed inventory, and achieved excellent sales. One rural business went from selling $500 in jigsaws a month to $3,500+ a month for several months.
  • Online with jigsaws. In March newsXpress turned on a national jigsaw website connected to newsXpress stores to win delivery and click and collect sales. It’s been a hit.
  • First with nesting. In March, newsXpress identified nesting as a popular growth category. Members following the advice added thousands of dollars in revenue.
  • New suppliers. newsXpress has added 20 new suppliers in recent months, almost all of whom have not previously dealt with newsagents.
  • Half price website development. With Tower Systems newsXpress delivered beautiful POS software linked Shopify sites for individual stores for $2,500 (inc. GST).
  • Daily email. Sent each morning, by 7am with updated supplier deals, to-do tips for staff and more. Designed for a fast, time-efficient, read.
  • Mask access. From June, newsXpress offered masks through several suppliers.
  • Subsidised online sales. newsXpress launched subsidised shipping for online sales connected to 100+ local newsXpress stores. The websites deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars across participating newsXpress stores annually.
  • Click and collect. From March newsXpress offered practical advice and guidance on how to do click and collect, to win new business. It’s been a hit.
  • Daily Zoom meetings. These started March 15 and have run Monday – Friday ever since. The sessions are filmed and 75+ members watch the videos daily. In the sessions newsXpress meet with suppliers, stay on top of news, motivate each other and more.
  • Sunday drinks. Every Sunday @ 4pm. This is a more relaxed chat.
  • Engaging social media campaigns. Five months ago, newsXpress launched Storytime, exclusive daily social media targeted stories that provide an emotional narrative members can use on social media.

This list is not complete, newsXpress helps and supports in many other ways.

2020 has been a year of opportunities. Newsagents embracing the opportunities are recasting the GP%, shopper traffic and operating overhead cost basis of their businesses for a brighter future.

Newsagents hear the most heartwarming stories

Storytime: “I need a big jigsaw, like 5,000 pieces and it’s got to be hard, the harder to do the better.” My 50-something customer the other day was clear in what they wanted. We looked through several jigsaws and eventually found a suitably difficult 5,000 piece jigsaw. “This is perfect,” she said with a big smile, not worried about the $170.00 price list.

“I can barely do a 500 piece jigsaw let along a 5,000 piece one,” I said, as I bagged the jigsaw. “He’ll never finish it,” she said. She could see I was confused. “It’s for my dad. He died after a long illness. Jigsaws were his thing. He loved them. I had promised to bury him with a difficult 5,000 piece jigsaw. This one is perfect. It will sit in the open coffin at the funeral.”

At the counter of the shop every day our customers surprise us with their stories and with how far they take us into their lives and how they express themselves to their loved-ones. I’ve only ever seen a jigsaw as something to finish and here it is as a perfect memorial for a dad who will be missed. #jigsaws #sympathy #memorial #family #love

Newsagents hear the most heartwarming stories

Storytime:  Some days, newsagents share the most heartwarming stories. A colleague shared this with me a few days ago. It chokes me up to think about it. Here is the story they shared…

A regular customer of mine, ‘Viktor’, put a small stack of cards on the counter, covering all the highlights of life: 18th birthday, 21st birthday, engagement, wedding, new home, first anniversary, second anniversary, a couple of new baby cards, some blank cards and a you’ve got this card.

I knew Viktor and said him “that’s a lot of cards there mate.” He glanced at me before looking away, saying nothing. I scanned all the cards, worked out that he bought enough for a couple of free ones, gave him the discount and put the purchases in a bag.

Viktor stood for a moment after paying. He took a breath, and told me the story. “The cancer they thought was gone, is back, in a couple of other places. Six months, maybe a little more, they think. I figured cards are the best way I can be part of Mel’s life as she grows up. So, I’m going home to write on these over the next few days and give them to Jill to give to Mel on each occasion. It’s the best way I can be there for her.”

My heart was full on hearing Viktor’s story from my colleague and what he planned to do for his teenage daughter. #love #compassion #family

Storytime: sharing sunshine

Storytime:  “I need a gold pen please.” I looked up to see Jean, an 80-something long-time customer. “I need a gold pen so I can spread some sunshine.” Jean was smiling.

We had this thing where she would tell me part of a plan and I had to guess. I brought several gold gel and felt tip pens to the counter for Jean to try. “Let me guess, you’re going to draw the sun?”  “No, silly. I am writing to each of my grand kids, telling them how much I love them, what they mean to me and how I’ll see them soon. The gold ink adds a brightness to the note, makes it shine.”

After bagging up two pens Jean selected, Jean looked at me for a moment before speaking. “You know, that’s not a bad idea. I might draw a cute sun on each note. Cheerio,” jean said as she was on her way.

We love hearing what our customers do with what they buy, the joy something as simple as a pen can bring.

Storytime: spreading happiness and supporting local communities

Storytime:  “This is the happiest gift we’ve seen in ages,” Helen said, putting 4 of the new Silo Art Trail calendars on the counter. Helen and Terry are locals we’ve got to know over the years. They like to shop early for Christmas gifts for family overseas.

“We love that the calendars are Australian made and feature country towns and the wonderful silo art.” Helen was very happy with her purchase. “We’re thinking of doing a trip to see some of them.” Tony was looking over the silos.

“We loved the calendar when we saw it too,” I said. “It’s such a uniquely Aussie gift.” It’s the truth. When we saw the calendar and read the story behind it, it have us goosebumps.

It’s hard to find gifts like this. We are so grateful to the artists and the communities who will benefit from the sale of the calendars.