Developing newsXpress in Darwin

Roger and Lesley Bortfield are in Darwin this week working with local newsXpress members – providing training and in-store support around newsXpress strategies. 

The visits are provided as part of the newsXpress commitment to provide stock in-store support for our members and their employees.  This in-store face to face contact is vital in reinforcing the newsXpress difference, a difference which we know results in good financial benefits for members.

Thanks to their years of experience owning and operating newsagencies, Roger and Lesley provide excellent practical assistance which enhances the newsXpress offer.

Christmas sale at newsXpress

img_0096.JPGThe team at our newsXpress corporate store at Watergardens has created a bold Christmas sale display right at the front of the shop.  The display featured items from several of the newsXpress Christmas offers including art, puzzle, gift and other categories.  It includes several newsXpress exclusive lines.     The display has been placed on the lease line facing directly into the mall and is drawing new visitors to our shop.

Our Watergardens store was opened mid 2007 and is used by newsXpress as a place where we experiment with new retail concepts and product categories.  We work closely with suppliers in pursuit of new opportunities exclusively for newsXpress newsagents.

From time to time we arrange tours of the business. If you would like to go behind the scenes on newsXpress Watergardens please let us know.

newsXpress features in Bairnsdale street parade

bairnsdale-street-parade-005.jpgnewsXpress Bairnsdale demonstrated active community involvement at the weekend through their participation in the Annual Christmas Parade through the town.  Taz and Gina (in the photo) and their team did the newsXpress brand proud.  They also represented newsagents ore widely and newsagency suppliers both in the street parade and back in their shop.

newsXpress is thrilled to have Taz and Gina as part of our group.  Their entrepreneurial drive, business acumen and community involvement embody what we look for in newsXpress members. It is no wonder they have been nominated for Newsagent of the Year.

Easy competition entry

nx_wii.JPGnewsXpress has launched an online only entry for its Back To School competition at its new website.    In a move unique in newsagency marketing, newsXpress customers purchasing eligible product go to the newsXpress website to register as opposed to the old approach of filling in a paper entry form which is then sent to a central office for drawing.  This smart approach by newsXpress is good for the customer, good for the environment and good for newsXpress members.

This is another way newsXpress is embracing technology for its members.

Having a creative Christmas

cansonchristmas.JPGnewsXpress has provided its members with another opportunity to drive special interest traffic with the launch of the Creative Christmas brochure last week. Featuring art supplies from Canson, this brochure is designed to drive excellent Christmas gift sales. I includes some excellent stocking stuffers for young and old.

We know from our shopping basket research that art supply customers are loyal once they find a brand of product they trust. Canson is a brand respected around the world. By building customer loyalty around art supplies over time through professional marketing and promotions, newsXpress members are well positioned to leverage that loyalty for the long term.

We also know that art customers are happy shopping in newsagencies and like to give art related product as gifts.

The Creative Christmas marketing is a nice fit with all the other marketing in newsXpress newsagencies around Christmas.

Great Christmas Gift ideas

nx_dvds.JPGnewsXpress is supporting a range of Christmas Gift ideas with excellent marketing collateral including this poster for a range of popular DVDs. With popular single, double and triple pack DVDs catering to all demographics, these are easy gifts to sell this time of the year. In building the Christmas gift selection, the newsXpress merchandise team has carefully sought out items which are excellent basket builders, serving the traditional newsagency demographic. We have been able to source good value DVD selections because of the size and consistent performance of our group.

Already stores are reporting excellent sales of these and other newsXpress Christmas Gift items.

newsXpress Orange radio ad campaign

Paul and Maureen Blunden at newsXpress Orange won a radio advertising package from Pacific Magazines at our recent National Conference.  The radio ad will run during the Better Homes and Gardens radio program on local radio over several weeks.  The ad is a terrific example of practical supplier support.  It represents the Pacific Magazines product and promotes Paul and Maureen’s business and the many other products they sell at newsXpress Orange.  Click here to download and hear the ad.

Supporting back to school in-store

bts_shelf.JPGnewsXpress has supplied all members with Back To School marketing collateral for in-store use including a full pack of professionally printed and pre-perforated shelf talkers for each of the Back To School hero products. These professional materials help our stores present a compelling offer professionally in the Back To School season. This attention to detail is noticed by suppliers, landlords and consumer – key reasons newsXpress is happy to invest in our member’s businesses in this way.

Final member meeting for 2008

20081127_0094.jpgWe held our final members meeting for the year yesterday in Brisbane. Even though our stores are well into Christmas it was a good opportunity to talk about the first quarter of 2009 and have an open forum with our Brisbane based members. We also outlined our activity around compliance behind the newsXpress brand and the importance of this for member businesses and our group as a whole.

Having a group which can commit nationally to suppliers and to deliver consistent marketing, in-store presence and ranging is a poi t of difference newsXpress cultivates.

Great Christmas gifts

nx_gifts.JPGnewsXpress members are reporting good sales from offers the group has sourced.  The Hannah Montana, Star Wars, High School Musical, Dora The Explorer and Disney puzzles are one of the early successes.  Members tell us these are popular as stocking fillers.  In most cases they appear to be purchased in addition to a newspaper, magazine or some other traditional newsagency sale.  This is exactly what we hoped it offering this range to members – it is easily located in a space which will attract impulse purchase.

Building margin in a newsagency involves many small steps.  This way, you are able to build something which is harder to break down.  The more reliant a business is on single stream revenue the easier it is to break down.  hence the newsXpress approach of sourcing many offers across a range of key categories from whcih our members can choose what is right for their circumstances.

Sourcing low cost China product

Smart newsagents balance their respected brand offers with timely special value dealsnewsXpress has announced a new supplier relationship this week which makes selected China product available to members on good terms.  This will enable our members to supplement their existing brand strategy with special offers and through this build a healthier shopping basket.

newsXpress is constantly looking for opportunities for members in a variety of situations and product categories.  Solutions like the China product offer announced this week are not mandatory on members.

newsXpress Glendale shines with gifts

14th-nov-001.jpgPhil and Wendy Banks and the entire team at newsXpress Glendale have created an excellent business around gifts.  At Christmas and all the year through they have grown from nothing in this department to a thriving business in two years.  newsXpress is proud that they have achieved this as a newsXpress store.  Their success is driving many of our newsXpress members to more completely embrace the gift offer.  What Phil and Wendy have achieved in what used to be a traditional newsagency is nothing short of amazing.

newsXpress has a range of exclusive supplier relationships in the gift area.  We back this with gift expertise in our National Merchandise team and through seasonal gift promotions.  All of our gift offers are optional for newsXpress members.

Christmas nut pack

nx_christmasnuts.JPGHaving successfully introduced the Morish products to newsXpress stores and the newsagency channel more widely, newsXpress members are embracing the Morish Christmas offer.  These gift packs are excellent value gifts for men and women.  The packaging is typical stunning Morish design.  The products themselves are even better – a great range of tastes and of excellent quality.  We like the Morish gift packs because they work nicely in a newsagency in a gift department or on a gift table.  They present a tremendous point of difference to the usual boxes of chocolates that supermarkets and other retailers carry this time of year.

newsXpress works hard to provide members with excellent product choices.  Morish, like other products in our Christmas offer, is not a mandatory line.  We present opportunities like this to members and leave it up to them to make the decision which is right for their store and circumstances.

Face to face with newsXpress members

Our team of Business Development Managers are travelling the country these next few weeks, completing our last round on in-store visits for 2008 with newsXpress members, working on group strategies and delivering training and other support to help our member businesses experience a great Christmas.

Over the next two weeks members of our team will visit with newsXpress newsagents in many cities including Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay, Darwin, Devonport, Burnie, Bairnsdale, Yarram, Lismore, Armidale, Tamworth, Singleton – and these are just some of the regional centres we will cover.

These visits are a considerable point of difference for newsXpress and for our members. Newsagency suppliers like that we have a team which conducts these in-store visits. Suppliers tell us they are tired of negotiating deals for newsagents which are not backed by an association or marketing group to help the deal achieve the maximum potential for newsagents and for the supplier. Our BDM team and bring supplier offers and newsagent needs to a commercially rewarding union thanks to our store visitation program.

As one of our members said recently, it is like having your own personal business coach.

Not all newsagents are the same

2008 has seen the difference between newsagencies grow considerably.  From traditional departments such as magazines and greeting cards to new departments such as gifts and art, newsagents are breaking with the past in pursuit of new opportunities.

newsXpress is leading treasure hunt for proactive entrepreneurial newsagents.  We are able to do this thanks to a community of energetic and future focused newsagents, a back office team of experts who relentlessly search for new opportunities, landlords who like what we do and su0ppliers keen to be part of our growing group.

While we have support the broader newsagency channel in a variety of ways this year including national and state conference sponsorships, we reserve our prime focus for the growing newsXpress community.  These are the newsagents who pay us to serve them.  These are the newsagents actively investing in the growth of their businesses.

We expect to see considerable change in the newsagency channel in 2009.  The gap between growing newsagents and others will widen.  Here at newsXpress,new members are always welcome.  It uis the individuals behind a business we treasure the most for we have seen the smallest of newsagencies grow dramatically outside their four walls once newsXpress opportunities are fully leveraged.

Flexibility for newsXpress members

newsXpress members get to choose which promotions and offers from the group they take up in their newsagencies.  No promotion is mandatory.  No product offer take-up is required.  While many members embrace our offers, because of the traffic generated and or excellent margin, we do not force anyone.

We mention this here today because there is a bit of noise in the newsagency marketplace that we do force members to take up offers.

Better margins for newsXpress newsagents

newsXpress has secured another high-margin Christmas product offer for its members.  This latest offer, in the fast moving social stationery / gift area, provides newsXpress newsagents with access to excellent quality branded product at extraordinary prices.  Our members can expect to achieve margins of 70% and higher.

Representing more than 150 locations, newsXpress is able to deliver access to a network of proactive newsagents, making our group truly valuable to suppliers seeking to quit stock.  Members taking up this latest offer can bank on thousands of dollars more than might have otherwise been available.

In today’s marketplace we anticipate seeing more opportunistic offers such as that just secured by newsXpress for its members.  Our work in this area is another way we provide value of membership.

Greeting card workshop a winner in WA

20081118_0080_1.jpgRon Thorpe, one of Australia’s foremost experts on greeting cards hosted a newsXpress greeting card workshop earlier this week in Perth.  Ron’s workshop was the final leg in a national tour promoting smart management of and engagement with the greeting card category.  It is training such as this which helps newsXpress stores drive above industry average same store year on year sales growth in the greeting card category.