I own and run Locks Newsagency which is a traditional CTN in Cosham, Hampshire. My store is in a small parade of shops next to the railway station on the mainline from Portsmouth to London Victoria.
I took over the business from my Dad 35 years ago after working for The News for a decade. The family business has been selling newspapers since it was started 120 years ago by my great grandfather, James.
These days the key part of the business is servicing the morning commuters between 6am and 9am with newspapers, magazines, hot drinks and snacks. I’m kept pretty busy during the early morning as I operate a 7-day-a-week newspaper delivery business that accounts for 20% of my turnover.
The long-term trend for HND as a whole is sadly quite tricky. A lot of my customers are older and as they fade away the younger people aren’t replacing them as fast as they tend to get news from the internet. However, I’m actually managing to grow my delivery numbers!
The reason for this is that other news retailers are either closing or giving up on deliveries. My most valuable customer is a bookie who takes the betting office version of Racing Post everyday and they are regular payers!
Magazines are the second pillar of the Locks Newsagency offer. I’ve a passion for selling magazines and devote 50 metres of shelf space to a large range. As the store is so close to Cosham station a large number of my customers are going on a journey.
The extra value for my customers is that I always try to keep a extensive knowledge of my products, which in combination with a wide range and good location, allows me to do well in a category that is becoming challenging.
I may have 50 metres of newspaper and magazine display, but I’d love more! My dream is to join the 100 metre club!
That’s why I’m a member of Menzies’ Superleague promotional group and use category management resoures such as newsretail.co.uk.
The best way to achieve growth is to work with suppliers. It’s important to get the support of publishers and the supply chain to make that happen.