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When it comes to growing or even maintaining your newstrade sales, there are a number of paths you can go down. RN’s resident news and magazines expert Jennifer Hardwick speaks to the industry and weighs up the pros and cons of focusing on sales in-store or your delivery service
This year has seen a host of developments in the newspaper category including the launch of industry-wide HND website Deliver My Newspaper and new loyalty schemes such as News UK’s Sun Savers and Mail Newspaper’s partnership with Nectar. All are designed to increase the regular purchase of newspapers in one way or another, but what kind of sales do you want to encourage?
The advantages and challenges of gaining HND customers are very different to those of in-store buyers, so here RN takes a look at both avenues of sale, how the industry is investing in them and what you can do to further boost your newstrade sales.
The Industry View
Paul Bacon, Sales and marketing manager, i
In my experience some retailers want to focus on HND but others know the best option for them is to focus on in-store sales. No two newsagents are the same so before we do any promotions with a store I will go down to find out the location, what the passing trade is like and the age of the people in the area. If a store is having a revamp and getting more people coming in, this can be a great opportunity for us to get more people to see the newspaper so we are happy to help stores make a splash and give out free copies.
The newsagents who are really passionate about the product have the best starting point for a conversation. We have had our best sales in the stores where the retailers really like the i, because it comes across when people ask about it.
Mike Brown, Browns Newsagents, Stokesley, Middlesbrough
You have got to be proactive and make sure you speak to customers. The number of newspapers I sell has halved in the last five years but the figures have remained pretty steady for the last few months.
If a newspaper they normally buy isn’t there when they come in I will always suggest to them that I could start saving them a copy. That happened just last week with a man who always comes in for the Telegraph and now he’s signed up for a shop save.
Facebook can also be a good way to get people interested. I don’t know anything about it myself but I employ someone in the shop who studied media at university so she does a great job. I posted about First News, the children’s newspaper, when it first came out, and now I deliver one a week to a local secondary school.
Use the daily footfall to drive further purchases in your store – Deliver My Newspaper data shows the average basket spend of a newspaper buyer is £7.45
Unless your customer agrees to a shop save on their favourite title, sales are less predictable and can fluctuate day to day
Engage with your customers about the titles they like and have face-to-face conversations if problems are encountered, such as late deliveries
A customer can easily go elsewhere if you run out of titles or suffer a late delivery
The Industry View
Chris Hughes, Head of retail marketing, News UK
Providing a HND service to customers can pay real dividends for a retailer. It helps to drive people in to your store, connects you with your community and also provides a fantastic service to individuals who are unable to, or find it difficult to, leave their home.
Working with a number of retailers who offer this service, we know an average HND service can deliver an income of £17,000 per annum so there are number of fantastic reasons to introduce this to your store.
Jon Powell, The Newsagent Direct, Newport
I recently took on 100 new HND customers in a month with a campaign on Twitter and Facebook and I try and do a couple of leaflets drops per week. In the last two years I have also taken on five other shops’ rounds that I heard they were about to close.
It is important to have good relationships with both your customers, and if possible, your wholesaler. If I take on a round in an area that is far away I will always warn them the papers won’t be that early because I don’t want them to be disappointed every morning. If a newspaper is in late, I will drive to Smiths and get it myself rather than waiting for a rerun and my driver is really good at letting me know when there’s a problem.
Guaranteed income from daily customers and long-term loyalty – Deliver My Newspaper Data shows 90% of customers keep a delivery service after their first order
Extra staffing costs and management involved in taking on new rounds
Easily market other services in your store using adverts included with newspapers, such as magazine deliveries or other product promotions
Delayed bill payments can cause problems with cash flow
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