The community themed campaign drives greater awareness and recognition of local newsagents and celebrates their evolution. Convenience World and Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association profiles local community newsagency: Corinne Nigro, owner of Anglesea News & Lotto.
Anglesea News & Lotto, as all newsagencies, were considered an essential service and have remained open since the onset of Covid-19 restrictions.
We are grateful that we could remain open to provide essential items required for customers, who have been driven to work from home as well as providing school supplies and educational products for those who are home-schooling.
Of course, it is not all ‘work and no play’. We also offer a large range of magazines, books, games, puzzles and outdoor recreational products.
The local community has been our lifeline, especially since we have not had the regular visitation from tourists and holiday-home owners (we are located on the magnificent Great Ocean Road).
Not only are we grateful for being able to remain open, but this means we have also been able to keep all staff employed. We consider our staff as an extension of our family. They have been outstanding throughout and we could not have continued trading without them.
What changes have boosted your sales?
We also offer free, no-contact local delivery along the Surf Coast, along with free gift wrapping.
Another service that has picked up is receiving orders from local residents’ families and friends who reside in other areas, including interstate. We often package up personalised ‘care packages’, birthday gifts and personalised greeting cards, and deliver them to customers’ loved ones on the nominated day.
The stock on offer is always changing, and we never thought we would need to be increasing wall space for jigsaw puzzles, art and craft, and social stationery.
During this time, we also instigated an ‘Anglesea Shop Local’ social media campaign which has been well received. To support the ’shop local’ campaign, we have increased our ranges of locally-made cards, giftware and Australian-made products and there has been an increase in demand for local books, maps and guides.
On behalf of the local retailers, we applied and were successful to gain funding from the Surf Coast Shire for a ‘Covid recovery’ grant, where the funds will be used to onboard a local marketing company to support the ‘Anglesea Shop Local’ campaign, and to add a professional touch.
We are very grateful to have the support of our partners and suppliers who have been able to adapt with us. Our suppliers have adapted with us and are offering exceptional, remote services.
National Newsagent Week has come at a perfect time, it is the perfect pick-me-up for Melbourne. We have been encouraging customers to purchase a magazine and enter to win a whopping $50,000! And thanks to News Corp and The Lott, we are also supporting the promotion to purchase a participating newspaper and a $5 ‘Live the Life’ scratchie, where customers can also win a share of $60,000!
These promotions have given us an added boost and helps reinforce that all newsagents are appreciated for all their hard work, adaptation and resilience and that we really are the heartbeat of our local community!
How has social distancing had an impact on your ‘social hub’?
Are customers less chatty?
Social distancing has not impeded the connections and conversations we have with our customers.
We provide a friendly and upbeat atmosphere in the store.
The shop has a daily ‘morning crew’ where customers socially-distance and congregate near the counter where many important conversations are had including politics and football (my husband, Paul, is the Senior Coach of Anglesea Football Club). No topic is off the radar!
For those who have been confined to their homes for health reasons, we phone them up to check on them, and offer no-contact deliveries from any of the local shops. We have a great retail community and work together to package up items from several shops.
Are they smiling behind their masks?
Absolutely! The main concern is how many more ’smile lines’ we are creating from trying to ‘over-smile’ to get the message through that we are all smiling underneath the masks!
As store owners are you still able to connect with your customers or have aggravations increased?
The Covid restrictions have actually brought out the best in some things, and even in some people. A real sense of community and care has evolved here, and people seem to be more supportive and understanding of each other, and each other’s different needs.
Initially, we went into overdrive with the fear and uncertainty that the pandemic may bring and were very aware that we could be open one day and closed the next.
We were prompt with social distancing signs and floor markers, sanitising signs and stations and were very conscious of the number of customers in store at any one time.
Initially, there was a little frustration with people coming to accept and adhere to the ’new norm’, but as time has passed, people are more respectful and aware of how important the restrictions are to follow and understand.
Each small business has a part to play and to adhere to the rules, if it means we are to remain open.
We are so grateful to live and work in such an amazing, supportive and adaptive community and be there for each other!
Corinne and Paul Nigro
Anglesea News & Lotto
Shop 19, Anglesea Shopping Village
89 Great Ocean Road
Anglesea Victoria 3230
T: (03) 5263 1411