Plugging the gap from falling newspaper sales

newspaper, wholesaleThe July newspaper ABC sales figures were recently published and they aren’t particularly happy reading. The Press Gazette says:

“Most national newspapers suffered double digit percentage sales losses year on year in July. Excluding i and The Independent, the average rate of circulation decline among the national dailies was around 11 per cent. This suggests that the rate of print circulation decline for the national press is accelerating.”

The question that these figures bring in to sharp focus is how is a newspaper retailer going to replace this lost income? Australian newsagency blogger and business man,  Mark Fletcher has recently posted a presentation on The Newsagency of the Future on YouTube looking at this big challenge. The video is aimed at the Australian newsagency channel that does have differences to the UK, but his message certainly travels.

The first layer of response is to ensure that you are up to date with the simple management details such as: Is your display effect. Is the stand clean and uncluttered. Are your best sellers in the best space. How is your availability. Do you identify each newspaper with shelf barkers? Do you offer a shop save service to ensure that customers can get the newspapers they want and build the habit of buying it from you?

The next layer is to look at how you can leverage these customer visits to increase the newspaper buyers spend. Do you use the customer’s line of travel from door to newspaper display and then to your counter to sell/promote impulse purchasing? Do you use the transaction time as an up selling opportunity?

Going beyond this, ask yourself where should your newspaper display be in your shop? When was the last time you considered it value to your business relative to your other categories?

Yes, newspapers are going through a challenging year and July was not a good month, but there are still nearly 50,000 retailers that see newspapers as a significant part of their business and many independents are bucking the trend by focusing on the important issue of managing and promoting the category. We will be looking at how some of these retailers  succeed with newspapers in the future.


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