newsXpress is making things happen for newsagents in 2024

At the start of 2024 we set this year’s theme as MAKING THINGS HAPPEN.

It was a commitment to action, growth, success and enjoyment for newsXpress members.

Mid way through this year we are seeing terrific results.

We have helped members attract new shoppers with several exclusive new product ranges.

We have newsXpress members recording double-digit card sales growth because of our exclusive store specific card performance data project.

We have helped stores recalibrate their commitment to magazines to make this low margin category work, freeing high value space for better margin product.

Our retail insights trip to Berlin and London was a terrific success with excellent in-store initiatives flowing as a result.

This is what MAKING THINGS HAPPEN is about.

Nothing we pitch is mandatory. We are not a franchise.

We’d love to help if you are keen for it.

Retail transformation: newsXpress Mount Waverley

newsXpress Mount Waverley is a corporate store, it’s one of our own shops where we experiment with tech and retail. It’s a shop we run on a tight budget.

In this video, Anthony from our newsXpress head office and Mark Fletcher our CEO discuss the transformation of the Mount Waverley business from 2018 to today. We also cover how this business spawned a second business, and online business, that outgrew the shop, and how it’s just launched its second online business – www.hugsandlove.com.au.

While the business identifies as a newsagency, it’s far removed from what Aussies consider to be a newsagency. It’s a gift shop, a haven for collectors and a place to shop for young kids.

This video shows how to go about changing a local high street shop on a small budget and the importance of being flexible to pivot when the world presents opportunities.

We are grateful for the opportunity to take you behind the scenes of one of our corporate stores, to show the value we harvest from being a POS software company that owns and runs retail businesses.

Newsagency software from Tower Systems Helps Newsagents Harvest Success

In today’s competitive retail landscape, local small business newsagents need every advantage they can get to thrive. Tower Systems, a leading provider of Australian-made POS software for newsagents, understands the unique challenges faced by newsagents and is dedicated to offering solutions that empower them to succeed.

Their newsagency software is specifically designed to address the needs of newsagents, offering a comprehensive suite of features that streamline operations, boost efficiency, and drive sales.

The Tower Systems newsagency software is helping many newsagents transform their retail businesses from the traditional to the innovative, attracting new shoppers, selling online, and more.

Here are just a few of the ways Tower Systems’ newsagency software helps newsagents harvest success:

  • Easy and accurate selling: The software simplifies the sales process, ensuring smooth transactions and minimizing errors.
  • Money-making business insights: Gain valuable insights into sales trends, inventory levels, and customer behaviour to make informed business decisions.
  • Time-saving supplier links: Automate tasks and eliminate manual data entry with seamless integration with suppliers.
  • Sales-winning loyalty tools: Implement loyalty programs to strengthen customer relationships and encourage repeat business.
  • Awesome roster integration: Simplify staff scheduling and management with integrated rostering tools.
  • Trusted theft reduction tools: Combat theft and shrinkage with advanced security features.
  • Free EFTPOS links: Integrate with popular EFTPOS solutions for effortless payment processing.
  • Magazine management for profit: Optimise magazine management to maximize profitability.
  • Personal training: Receive personalized training and support to ensure you get the most out of the software.
  • 24/7 support: Enjoy peace of mind with 24/7 access to support whenever you need it.

Tower Systems goes beyond simply providing software. They are committed to the success of newsagents and offer a range of additional resources, including marketing advice, theft mitigation strategies, and other valuable support services.

By partnering with Tower Systems, newsagents can gain the tools and support they need to streamline operations, improve profitability, and thrive in the competitive retail environment.

newsXpress members tap into additional benefits as Tower Systems customers thanks to the common ownership of both businesses.

If you’re a newsagent looking to take your business to the next level, Tower Systems’ newsagency software is a valuable investment and newsXpress is a valuable business partner to help you leverage that investment to the max.

Whether you need new software for your newsagency, a website to sell online or access to fresh business insights, the newsXpress and Tower Systems partnership can help regardless of size or location. The two businesses, each with their own team members, work together to help newsagents run more enj9yable, and valuable businesses. They work together to help newsagents attract new shoppers and to grow in an efficient and enjoyable way.

This is what growth in 2024 looks like for newsagents – evidence supported actions to find success for this retail channel that has served in Australia since the 1800s. Here is 2024, the local Aussie newsagency can be relevant, fun and successful, leading local towns to help create vibrant high street settings for other retailers too.

newsXpress and Tower, through common ownership, are grateful to serve Aussie newsagents.

newsXpress offers half-price POS software connected Shopify websites to newsagents

Online is the biggest opportunity of 2024 without a doubt. The latest benchmark for Aussie retail reports online as 10% of total business revenue.

In the Aussie newsagency channel, the average figure for those with a website is under 5%.

If you don’t have a website, what would a 5% bump in revenue feel like?

We have businesses we have helped achieve a 20% bump in revenue in a year from online.

We leverage our Tower Systems experience and our newsXpress experience exclusively to help you be open 24/7, serve new shoppers and add valuable net profit in using existing overheads. Our skillset is unique, our experience backed by plenty of success.

newsXpress exclusive. We offer access to a half price, fixed price, beautiful Shopify website connected to your Tower POS software. We back this with advice and mentorship to help you find a profitable niche you like.

If you can’t increase local physical shopper traffic, online is a smart move to improve business reach and profitability.

One newsXpress member launched a website with us last year and added $50,000 in good margin revenue in six months.

Another newsXpress member used their website to pitch an entirely new product category and found a profitable second business as a result, using existing labour and facilities in the shop.

We showed another newsXpress member how to expand the reach of their website and within two months they achieved thousands in additional good margin revenue.

It’s easy to say no to a website if you don’t have one because you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s also easy if you had one in the past and it failed.

Most websites don’t work. Smart people use a failure to do better next time.

Core to website success is filling needs and wants. While needs and wants are quite different, they compel good online business.

Here are the top reasons why we think every retail business needs a website:

  1. Capture sales when you are closed. Typically, more than 50% of online purchases are then the brick and mortar business is closed.
  2. Engage when you are closed. Use chat to answer questions from anywhere, or you geek-out and have an AI chatbot do this.
  3. Reach people not currently shopping with you. Typically, 75% of sales are from people located nowhere near your shop.
  4. Have a second outlet for quitting stock.
  5. Have a place where you can experiment.
  6. Playing with a plan Bin case your shop finds itself in choppy waters.
  7. To learn. A website, especially your first website, teaches you so much: What people want. What they could pay. Haw awful some people are.
  8. To get you out of a rut. If you’ve been in your shop for ages and are mailing it in each day, a website could put a spring in your step.
  9. To make your shop more valuable. Having a website can make your shop more appealing when you decide to sell.
  10. To find a secondary brand. Could be the first step in a shop rebrand.
  11. To drive traffic to the shop. People will find products on your website and visit as a result, for sure.
  12. To give you another source of revenue that is completely unrelated to anything you do in your shop.
  13. To harvest email addresses. Email marketing from Shopify is a breeze.

Having a website gives people a landing page from your Facebook, Instagram and TikTok posts. This is important.

Online is the biggest opportunity for Aussie newsagents in 2024 and newsXpress can help

Online is the biggest opportunity of 2024 without a doubt. The latest benchmark for Aussie retail reports online as 10% of total business revenue.

In the Aussie newsagency channel, the average figure for those with a website is under 5%.

If you don’t have a website, what would a 5% bump in revenue feel like?

We have businesses we have helped achieve a 20% bump in revenue in a year from online.

We leverage our Tower Systems experience and our newsXpress experience exclusively to help you be open 24/7, serve new shoppers and add valuable net profit in using existing overheads. Our skillset is unique, our experience backed by plenty of success.

newsXpress exclusive. We offer access to a half price, fixed price, beautiful Shopify website connected to your Tower POS software. We back this with advice and mentorship to help you find a profitable niche you like.

If you can’t increase local physical shopper traffic, online is a smart move to improve business reach and profitability.

One newsXpress member launched a website with us last year and added $50,000 in good margin revenue in six months.

Another newsXpress member used their website to pitch an entirely new product category and found a profitable second business as a result, using existing labour and facilities in the shop.

We showed another newsXpress member how to expand the reach of their website and within two months they achieved thousands in additional good margin revenue.

We’d love to connect you with some of these retailers so you can hear for yourself what is achievable.

Helping newsagents create a bright future

Value is important in every business, especially so in local indie retail like a local newsXpress business – what you make today and what you will make when you decide to sell.

The newsagency channel was created in the 1880s to distribute a magazine through the goldfields of Victoria. Some of the agency arrangements put in place then can be seen in business arrangements today.

While we understand and respect the history of the channel, the future for our shops is the future. It’s nothing like those goldfield days.

Making the most of the opportunities of the future is about what we talk about in this document.

What you sell. How you sell. When you sell. The customers you sell to. It’s all up for grabs, there for the taking. It starts with the narrative of your business, how you pitch yourself.

How far you go is up to you. We pitch ideas and opportunities. What you do with them is up to you. Once you decide, we can help with practical steps.

While we understand that for plenty, old-school products and services are valuable, their value isdeclining.

You’re not alone. We help you, work with you, hold your hand and encourage you – as much or as little as you want.

Newsagency software from Tower Systems helps newsagents run healthier and happier retail businesses

The newsagency software from Tower Systems is key to helping newsagents, including newsXpress members, to run more current and successful retail businesses.

From differentiating and local-business tuned loyalty facilities to tools that nurture community group support to time saving supplier integrations to easy online selling, the Tower Systems newsagency software plays a vital role in guiding greater success for the 1,700+ newsagents who use the software.

This software for newsagents is designed with newsagents, to serve specific needs newsagents have in their businesses. It serve us valuable business insights designed to maximise opportunities for newsagent business owners and employees.

It is not your usual POS Solutions software. This is newsagency specific POS software.

This newsagency software is packed with benefits, including:

  • Connect with Slyp for digital receipts.
  • Connect with Deputy, Tanda or Planday for easy roster management.
  • Connect with suppliers – this software is XchangeIT compliant.
  • Connect with other suppliers – we accept many different electronic invoices.
  • Leverage you. If your knowledge is a differentiator, offer it through structured opportunities in the software.
  • Save time with each management of magazine putaways.
  • Cut bad debts with strong customer and sub agent account management.
  • Replace LayBy with easier buy now pay later where you are paid right away.
  • Ensure compliance with structured age checking for tobacco products.
  • Easily handle special customer orders. Bring product in for a specific customer and have them notified automatically by email or text when the goods are in and ready.
  • Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd. Have customers coming back to you for this.
  • Maximise the basket with easy to use one-time shopper loyalty tools.
  • School and club pricing profiles. Set pricing rules based on customer type.
  • Pre-orders – Easily pre-sell a delivery so that when the stock arrives you can manage distribution and billing efficiently.
  • Differentiate with informative receipts. These can include product care, use and safety information based on what customers buy.
  • Differentiate with bundles. Selling items bundled together makes price comparison hard.
  • Market to customers based on past purchases.
  • Save time by importing electronic invoices.
  • Sell more with a direct connect to buy now pay later services.
  • Cut mistakes with integrated EFTPOS.
  • Cut accounting and bookkeeping fees with integration to Xero and others.
  • Easily sell online with a direct to Shopify / Magento or WooCommerce link from your POS software.

This newsagency software is packed with plenty more.

All these featured and the backing of an awesome help desk team are the reason more newsagents in Australia use this software than all other newsagency software products combined.

The other huge differentiator for Tower Systems is that it owns and runs newsagency businesses and has done since February 1996. Walking in. the shoes of its customers has proved to be invaluable in terms of newsagency software innovation.

This software offers:

  1. Exclusive greeting card reporting Embedded in our software is category / segment level reporting that newsagents are using to grow card sales 25% and more. That’s money in the bank.
  2. You can bank on loyalty. Our fresh and successful approach to loyalty can help you drive a deeper basket and bring people back sooner.
  3. Safe decisions make for a better P&L. From data feeds from suppliers through to Xero, we help you nurture data for the safe decisions.
  4. Not every shopper will walk past your door. A seamless connection between your software and a beautiful website can help you sell to people you will never meet. We develop websites for newsagents.
  5. Easily accessed personal service. A key reason 4 times more newsagents have chosen Tower than any other software is customer service. We are here for you, with you, every day.
  6. Current software. Current technology. Fresh, current design.

Not all newsagency software is the same. See for yourself.

Your future in your newsagency is yours to make

Value is important in every business, especially so in local indie retail like a local newsXpress business – what you make today and what you will make when you decide to sell.

The newsagency channel was created in the 1880s to distribute a magazine through the goldfields of Victoria. Some of the agency arrangements put in place then can be seen in business arrangements today.

While we understand and respect the history of the channel, the future for our shops is the future. It’s nothing like those goldfield days.

Making the most of the opportunities of the future is about what we talk about in this document.

What you sell. How you sell. When you sell. The customers you sell to. It’s all up for grabs, there for the taking. It starts with the narrative of your business, how you pitch yourself.

How far you go is up to you. We pitch ideas and opportunities. What you do with them is up to you. Once you decide, we can help with practical steps.

While we understand that for plenty, old-school products and services are valuable, their value isdeclining.

You’re not alone. We help you, work with you, hold your hand and encourage you – as much or as little as you want.

newsXpress advice for retailers on choosing card companies

For decades, major card companies in Australia won new business by offering a rebate on purchases, and we all loved it.

Newsagents would change card companies because of a bigger rebate offer. Oh, that and ‘interest free’ loans we could draw based on anticipated rebates.

What many of us soon realised is that the rebate is worthless unless you sell the cards as it is only when you sell something that you bought at a discount off wholesale, which is, after all, what a rebate from a card company is, that you bank the rebate value.

Switching to a new card company because of rebate could be a mistake unless their cards sell as well as or better than what you have today.

The main reason to switch card companies in my view is to sell more cards.

It’s only when you sell cards that you make money.

Already in 2023 we have seen enough trading to consider 12% year on year growth in card sales as a reasonable benchmark against which to compare your newsagency business.

If a card company’s main pitch is the quantum of the rebate, my advice is question why they pitch this ahead of the actual products.

What you want, and need, is cards that drive new traffic and more purchases in each visit, you want product that perform above average. This is about card company choice and about how your in-store range is managed – two quite different things.

Cards are the best margin products in our businesses. They deserve our active management attention.

My advice is check your year to date performance against 2022. Are you up 12%? If not, think about what you might do about that, and consider it in the context of any rebate pitch put to you.

This has been on my mind because of conversations with some newsagents recently where rebate was the topic.

One stuck out – they said they would not switch unless a card company matched their current rebate. Their card sales are down 9% year on year. That decline is twice the overall business decline, meaning there is a problem with card range. They refused to look at any other supplier, thereby =not considering that range might be the issue.

I see any rebate as a pot I can draw from to help drive card sales, and I do that to fund a loyalty program, and more. each month I am seeing terrific results, like for April.

Yes, that’s 19% growth in 2023 over 2022. If I compare back to 2019, cards in this business are more than 50% up.

I know that if I get the card story right in-store and in socials pitches not only does that department benefit but the whole shop benefits because of card shopper dwell time. And, all that flows to margin dollars banked, which are far more value than the promise of a rebate in the hope of selling something.

This post is not about any specific card company. I am not suggesting you switch to any specific card company. My advice is that you make your business decisions on what you bank, and that spends solely on sales.

We help local indie retailers nurture success

We help local indie retailers nurture success through opportunities you can leverage, often needing little or no capital investment.

We share these in one of our regular ( member emails, or our regular member Zoom meetings.

Opportunities can be new suppliers, new products, in-store tactical changes, out of store marketing ideas. Often, they are early adopter opportunities that can help our members win before other retailers know about the opportunity.

The opportunities can be group wide or tailored to a local business and their needs as reflected in their own business data.

newsXpress is that hands-on, that locally engaged, that it is able to deliver bespoke recommendations supported by local business performance data.

Opportunities can be sales to people who will never visit your shop through any of several national #1 ranked consumer facing websites, and / or your own exclusive website, under a brand you choose.

We own, and run our own shops, as playing fields where we experiment for our members with their full knowledge, and guidance.

We were first with a consumer-facing online offer at the group level, and at an individual store level.

We have an active new shopper strategy, focussed through several suppliers that do not partner with any other marketing group.

We may disagree with you sometimes. If you ask our opinion, our feedback will be honest, and backed by evidence. We owe you the truth.

Checklist of advice if you reconsidering buying a retail newsagency business

newsXpress helps newsagents run retail businesses they love and value. We are often asked for advice on buying a newsagency. Here’s some of the advice we share:

There has been a surge of interest in buying a newsagency this year.

Aussie retail newsagency businesses are proving to be good businesses to buy.

So, to the question: what should I ask for when looking at buying a newsagency?

The question itself, when asked, indicates how green a prospective purchaser is when it comes to purchasing a business. Our first advice is that they better understand the newsagency business of today, to understand what they could be buying into.

Here is an updated list of data we suggest prospective newsagency business purchasers access from the vendor or their representative:

  1. P&L from the accountant for the last two years. i.e. not a spreadsheet created for the purpose.
  2. A list of add-backs used to achieve a profit figure on which the asking price is based.
  3. Tax returns for the same two years. While note always appropriate given business structures, they can provide a cross check with the accountant P&L.
  4. Sales data reports, for the last two years, from the POS software in use – to verify the income claim. This source data is key.
  5. Sales data reports from the lottery terminal to verify the income claim.
  6. BAS forms to confirm data in the P&L.
  7. A list of all inventory in the business including the purchase price and date last sold for each item. And, copies of invoices from which you can randomly select to verify.
  8. A copy of the shop lease.
  9. A copy of any leases the vendor expects you to take on board.
  10. A list of all forward orders placed on behalf of the business.
  11. A list of all employees: name, hourly rate, nature of employment, start date, accrued leave and accrued long service leave.

This is good basic information, a starting point, which will enable any purchaser to undertake reasonable assessment of a business.

Don’t get too worked up in what a retail newsagency used to be. Rather, once you have the business performance data, consider what you could make of the business. Consider the opportunity for change.

The typical Aussie retail newsagency today can be a gift and homewares shop first and offering traditional newsagency lines more as a service than as a core traffic and profit driver.

But, the success of any retail newsagency business you purchase will have its roots in the performance numbers of the business today.

Our advice to newsagents looking to sell who may be concerned about this list is: think about it now and focus on your business so the data we have listed looks good. The time to prepare your newsagency for sale is every day you are in the business.

This is why we say every day is your pay day. Run a smart, lean and profit focused business and you will have a good pay day today and a good one when you come to sell.

The most appealing businesses are those that are easier to run and are making money.

Sure a purchaser can turn a business around. They should get the rewards if they are expected to do that for your business.

The price you can sell your business for will be based on what it is making now.

newsXpress submission to the Senate Committee inquiry into bank branch closures in regional Australia

SUBMISSION TO THE RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT REFERENCES COMMITTEE BANK CLOSURES IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA INQUIRY

This submission is on behalf of independently owned retail newsagency businesses that belong to the newsXpress marketing group.

More than 75% of newsXpress businesses are in regional Australia and most of these have been negatively impacted by bank closures.

Some of these businesses were, themselves, agents for banks, and have had the agency business taken from them, closed. In these businesses the impact has been even more considerable.

Many of the remaining 25% of our members, in city and suburban areas have also been impacted by bank branch closures.

The banks have been poor at communicating their closure decisions and vague in explaining reasons for closures.

While there has been less cash pass through the business in favor of electronic transactions in recent years, cash remains the biggest method of payment for goods and services sold by local newsXpress businesses. This is because of the type of products sold.

Bank branches are important for not only banking takings for but also for accessing banknote and coin change. With the average transaction value in our local retail businesses under $15.00, having available change is an important need.

newsXpress businesses impacted by bank closures have a higher cost of doing business as a result due to:

  • The need to drive to another town to do the banking for the business. The drive time each way ranged from 30 minutes to close to 2 hours.
  • Carrying more cash, especially smaller denomination notes and all denominations of coins, so the business does not run out between banking days.
  • The need, for some, to switch banks because the usual bank for the business is now several hours away.
  • Covering the cost of growing EFTPOS payments due to the fixed price nature of much of what is sold in a typical newsXpress business.

Bank branch closures have added on average for those newsXpress businesses impacted, additional operating costs of between $250.00 and $500.00 a week.

With many newsXpress businesses selling lottery products, the call on cash for the payment of prizes varies, and often cannot be adequately predicted.

In addition to the actual additional cost is additional pressure on the business owners since going to the bank no longer can be done in a few minutes. It needs to be scheduled, rostered for.

There is an emotional cost to bank branch closures, too, as there is more pressure on managing cash since the safety net of the local bank branch has been removed. This extends to the drive to the further away bank branch with cash takings from several days and worry about the safety of this compared to banking at the local branch across the road.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

  • A communal banking model. In a town where a branch is not viable, the banks could work together, maybe under a government overseen storefront, to offer banking services for all Australian banks.
  • Mobile banking. Require the banks to provide regular access to their services through a mobile banking service that visits each impacted town.
  • Easier agency access. If existing banking agencies could be enhanced to be agents for all banks this could open more local banking options.
  • Reduced fees. Where banks withdraw, or have withdrawn, local bank branch services, require them to compensate business customers with significant fee reduction, to help them feel the cost of their decisions.

The newsXpress retail businesses impacted by local bank branch closures feel ignored by their banks, not listened to and unable to rely on a reasonable resolution.

They feel left to figure out what to do themselves so that the banks can maximise shareholder value.

While maximising shareholder value is the most important requirement for the board of any public company, banks often pitch themselves as being more community engaged and socially aware.

The closure of bank branches in regional Australia does not reflect care or concern for the regional Australian community.

Sincerely and on behalf of all local newsXpress member retail businesses,

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director
Mobile: 0418 321 338.
Email: mark@newsxpress.com.au

newsXpress helps local Aussie newsagents transform their businesses

newsXpress Leven in Ulverstone Tasmania has transformed from a traditional local newsagency into a thriving gift destination for locals, tourists and people from outside of town who appreciate the range on offer and the service. Sharene and Wayne have transformed what was a traditional newsagency business from decades ago into this fresh and appealing shop. And, yes, this is a local newsagency …


When we read news articles about newsagency businesses they tend to be rooted in years gone by, and the photos accompanying such articles reflect businesses that look nothing like I am sharing here. It is frustrating in that our channel has many newsagency businesses embracing change and offering retail experiences outside of the traditional we read too often about.

newsXpress Leven is testament to the willingness of Sharene and Wayne to seek out and embrace change. It’s a newsagency for sure, but much much more than that.

One thing to especially notice about this business is the fitout. They have done this themselves. Brilliant!

Advice for local retail newsagents on navigating economic headwinds

Whether we agree with it or not, there is plenty of news and chatter about economic headwinds. That chatter often reaches the counters of local retailers, like local newsagents.

newsXpress helps newsagents strategically and operationally. In addition to excellent supplier deals and new traffic through new categories, newsXpress provides strategic advice. This article is an example of that advice.

The negative economic coverage, especially in media outlets that love to run negative stories, impacts local retail.

Relentlessly, media outlets overload with recession stories, fuelling worry and anxiety and challenging consumer confidence.

It’s tempting to get drawn to the doom and gloom stories, to amplify the woe is me narrative. But that does not help.

Plenty of people in business, especially small business, prefer to look ahead, to focus on the other side of the recession as it is that view of what could be that motivates.

We think a back to basics approach is what is needed to get us through the chatter and coverage. We think it’s right for our software business, the retail shops we own and for the many local businesses we serve.

The back to basics guiding principles we share here are focussed on this, focussed on providing sure footing today and encouraging optimism for tomorrow.

This is not a list from which you choose what you like. Our advice is that you do everything on this list, because in our experience, together they provide the best chance of navigating the recession well.

  1. Nurture what makes the business money and fix or stop what does not make the business money. Leverage strengths. Fix or eliminate weaknesses.
  2. Embrace ways to broaden the reach of the business.
  3. Make safe decisions, decisions you know will work. For example, buy well. That is, buy what will sell easily, quickly.
  4. Embrace ways you can add value to what you sell without spending more.
  5. Be frugal. Before every spending decision ask 2 questions: do we need this? Will this add value? Review every business expense. Cut those that do not add value.
  6. Your next step is in front of you. Look ahead, not behind. Talk up, not down.
  7. If you feel overwhelmed, take it one step at a time. Every day, do something that makes you happy.

When should you start? Now. But not alone. This is a whole of business project. Involve the whole team and embrace all the points at every opportunity.

How do we know these principles work? We have experience trading through two recessions, one country wide and the other sector wide. We also traded through Covid with excellent results – because we embraced these principles back in early March 2020.

Let’s take a moment to unpack principle #3, make safe decisions. Safe decisions are those you can bet on because they work every time. They may not be exciting, but they are safe. They may not be the best margin, but they are safe. Safe decisions are all about certainty, providing a small step that is stable, sure-footed. Put a few of those in a row and you feel better. Feeling better is key to helping you navigate the Covid recession.

While we understand the value of news, there may be value in consuming less news, staying away from the negative stories. Your success is the most important news right now.

If you would like support in running your newsagency, consider newsXpress. We are a group that provides practical support without any obligation for you to do what we suggest and without any obligation to buy from any specific supplier.

It is cliché, but …. We are here for you. If you think we could help, please reach out to us at help@newsxpress.com.au.

newsXpress helps retail newsagents save time and cut mistakes when receiving new stock.

Every time staff in an Aussie newsagency type details of a new stock item into the POS computer system or manually process an invoice for stock they have received, it costs labour time and could result in data mistakes, which could lead to bad decisions.

This is a waste of time and money for the business.

Electronic invoices save time, and they cut mistakes.

Aussie Newsagency POS software company Tower Systems and newsXpress together help Aussie newsagents save time, cut mistakes and benefit from more accurate business data.

newsXpress supporting doing the tech side as well as the in-business operational side and providing understanding and practical support, newsagents and people who work in newsagency businesses can save time and money and make better business decisions as a result.

The joint Tower Systems newsagency software and newsXpress retail newsagency business management approach is a winner.

Just this month, February 2023, newsXpress and Tower, working together, have helped bring on another major supplier to the world of electronic invoices. This is a big win for Aussie newsagents. More time saved. More mistakes cut. More benefits for the local Aussie newsagency channel.

It is hard work bringing on a new supplier. There is work with their tech, finance and management teams, considerably work, and testing, and more work. It is only those skilled with software tech and the running of a retail newsagency who can do this to the best advantage of local Aussie newsagents.

All newsXpress members have access to these benefits and more.

We nurture your success through opportunities you can leverage, often needing little or no capital investment. We share these in one of our regular (at least twice a week) member emails, or our regular member Zoom meetings.

Opportunities can be new suppliers, new products, in-store tactical changes, out of store marketing ideas. Often, they are early adopter opportunities that can help our members win before other retailers know about the opportunity.

We lay out for your consideration a pathway to a success.

Opportunities can be sales to people who will never visit your shop through any of several national #1 ranked consumer facing websites, and / or your own exclusive website, under a brand you choose.

Beyond this awesome work on the tech side of running a successful local Aussie retail newsagency business, newsXpress also helps you make more money with supplier deals and opportunities.

Retail management advice for newsagents on lease negotiation

Major shopping centres looked appealing for years. All that foot traffic. The bright and shiny look. Being there was appealing to retailers, especially small business retailers, including retail newsagents.

Every shopping centre had a newsagency, often two, some even had three.

The Covid hit in 2020, and traffic to major centres crashed. It’s coming back, but it’s not where it used to be, in most centres traffic is yet to reach 2019 levels.

With good space availability, leasing execs are doing the rounds, seeking to fill spaces. In some cases they are cutting deals, while in others the occupancy cost is as high as ever.

My advice to anyone, newsagents and other local small business indie retailers. negotiating for space in a major shopping centre is: negotiate as if you have a better deal elsewhere. Don’t rely on it. Don’t visualise that centre as the only location for you. Have a viable plan ‘B’ and even a plan ‘C’. And, only agree to what you are 100% happy with.

Too often I see retailers agree to leases because of the appeal of bright shiny lights and what appears to be good foot traffic, only to rue the decisions for years.

By having viable and appealing options you allow yourself to have a more circumspect off the major centre leasing exec pitchy and that works in your favour.

I know there are people in our Aussie newsagency channel who say they get the best deals. It’s one thing to claim this and another entirely to prove it.

Ask for the evidence.

In one situation I heard about recently when the retailer asked for evidence of deals a party claimed they had achieved the response was oh, privacy. That’s a crock in my view. If you claim you can get an awesome deal, prove it … otherwise, it remains marketing spin not backed by evidence.

You are in your lease situation for 5 years at least usually. That’s a long time to be locked into something which with you are dissatisfied or unhappy. It is why you need to research carefully, to be sure you will be happy. It’s why you need to have options so you can compare before you sign anything.

If you are not happy with the lease, don’t sign it. It is better to walk away from a deal you done;t like than spending 5 years fighting chasing a hope or dream and losing money along the way.

One tip for those considering a shopping centre situation, have a plan ‘B’ option that is outside the centre and it is this different situation comparison that could be particularly helpful in landing at a decision. The two settings are physically and location different, they are usually financially different, too. This is what it is good for you to have the option with which you can compare. I have done this myself and pivoted to outside of shopping centre retail – less stress, lower occupancy cost and higher profit from sales = better business value.

Mark Fletcher
0418 321 338
mark@newsxpress.com.au
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-fletcher-tower/

Retail management advice on why a newsagency is a good business to buy in 2022

Newsagency businesses are selling quickly in today’s business market. They are popular in part because they had a good Covid, in part because of the relative certainty of revenue and in part because of the opportunities of change … which are abundant in 2022 and into the future.

Newsagencies are seen as being a safe investment, because of the multiple options and opportunities for driving value from the investment. But, equally, they are seen as a growth investment as the business is evolved into new product categories.

I’ve seen businesses sell within a few days of going on the market this year – city and country, shopping centre and high street.

This is great news for those in our channel keen to sell their businesses. It is also great news for people looking to invest in our channel.

We are in the midst of a kind of renewal in the channel. New capital, fresh energy, fresh ideas. This is all good for the channel.

What we are also seeing is more change in the channel, less cohesion as to what a newsagency is, and that’s okay.

There’s the core of papers, magazines, cards, and lotteries for most but not all. Outside the core we are seeing more engagement in more recent categories like homewares, niche gifts – not the usual low cost imported gifts but higher price point, locally made and less likely to be in mass retail.

So, it’s good news for newsagents selling their businesses and good news for people joining our channel by buying a newsagency business.

Like any business investment, you get out of it what you put in outside of the money itself, the strategies, energy, mood and embrace of change. It’s terrific seeing some of the fresh ideas coming with new business owners.

Yes, now is a good time to buy a newsagency business. There are good businesses for sale and plenty of opportunities for leveraging growth through them, and therefore a good return on your investment.

Now, before people get in a lather and say the old newsagency is dying, I agree. That purely old newsagency model that relies on legacy products is significantly challenged. But, plenty of older style newsagencies are doing well. These businesses present opportunities to evolve into new traffic and revenue models.

The future for the newsagency channel is strong, bring, valuable … because many of us have embraced change and that is attracting new shoppers with money to spend, new shoppers who are helping us drive up the overall average GP% our business achieves. This change is valuable and wonderful, it is liberating, too.

Mark Fletcher
0418 321 338
mark@newsxpress.com.au
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-fletcher-tower/

Retail management advice on buying a newsagency

There has been a surge of interest in buying a newsagency in 2022. Retail businesses in our newsagency channel are appealing, and, looking out in the market, there are some excellent opportunities.

A newsagency can be a good business to buy.

A common question I am asked by people who find me through this blog and other work I do with and for newsagents is what should I ask for when looking at buying a newsagency?

The question itself, when asked, indicates how green a prospective purchaser is when it comes to purchasing a business. My first advice is that they better understand the newsagency business of today, to understand what they could be buying into.

Here is an updated list of data I suggest prospective newsagency business purchasers access from the vendor or their representative:

  1. P&L from the accountant for the last two years. i.e. not a spreadsheet created for the purpose.
  2. A list of add-backs used to achieve a profit figure on which the asking price is based.
  3. Tax returns for the same two years. While note always appropriate given business structures, they can provide a cross check with the accountant P&L.
  4. Sales data reports, for the last two years, from the POS software in use – to verify the income claim. This source data is key.
  5. Sales data reports from the lottery terminal to verify the income claim.
  6. BAS forms to confirm data in the P&L.
  7. A list of all inventory in the business including the purchase price and date last sold for each item. And, copies of invoices from which you can randomly select to verify.
  8. A copy of the shop lease.
  9. A copy of any leases the vendor expects you to take on board.
  10. A list of all forward orders placed on behalf of the business.
  11. A list of all employees: name, hourly rate, nature of employment, start date, accrued leave and accrued long service leave.

This is good basic information, a starting point, which will enable any purchaser to undertake reasonable assessment of a business.

My advice to newsagents looking to sell who may be concerned about this list is: think about it now and focus on your business so the data I have listed looks good. The time to prepare your newsagency for sale is every day you are in the business.

This is why I say every day is your pay day. Run a smart, lean and profit focused business and you will have a good pay day today and a good one when you come to sell.

The most appealing businesses are those that are easier to run and are making money.

Sure a purchaser can turn a business around. They should get the rewards if they are expected to do that for your business.

The price you can sell your business for will be based on what it is making now.

Mark Fletcher
0418 321 338
mark@newsxpress.com.au
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-fletcher-tower/