Michael and Carmel Parkinson have owned newsagencies for 30 years. They now have three stores – David Low Way News, Coolum Beach News, and Nambour Village News, which their daughter Danielle runs.
“There wasn’t too much change for our first 20 years in regards to customer purchase of print products, which has always been the main focus of our shops,” says Michael.
“However, over the past 10 years, with an increase in online purchasing and reading of papers and magazines online, sales have decreased – particularly with the millennials. Therefore, we have had to develop a reputation for having a good range of gift lines and inkjet cartridges which has helped cover the decreasing sales of traditional newsagency lines.”
The family also offer a dry cleaning service from David Low Way News and they are the only shop in their centre that provides scanning/email and photocopy services.
Danielle started running Nambour Village News nearly two years ago, after working with her parents for around six years. She now manages the store as a sole proprietor but is still mentored and supported by Michael and Carmel when needed.
“I love Nambour and live locally and it is an absolute pleasure to run my own newsagency,” says Danielle.
“We do have different clientele at each shop, but generally what we all offer is similar, and we have found this works well. For example, as Nambour Village News is in a more country area, we do have a slightly different range of magazines – with more craft and country style magazines.
“I am really looking forward to National Newsagent Week and will be celebrating with a week of celebrations. I will be spoiling my customers with lots of giveaways, discounts and fun activities in store,” concluded Danielle.
Michael and Carmel will also be getting behind National Newsagent Week in their two stores. “We will be offering selected cookbooks at 50% off sale price plus 10% off the gift range,” says Michael.
“We will also have a magazine promotion running with Bauer media and with every $10 purchase from the John Sands Australia card range, we will be offering a free roll of cellophane.”
But after 30 years in the business, what do Michael and Carmel love about being newsagents?
“We love selling Gold Lotto products in our stores and we find the commission covers the cost of our rent and wages. We are very positive about the future of this area of business, particularly with the increase in commission coming soon, including a percentage of online sales. Our first ever Division 1 winner won $100,000 on the QLD Golden Casket and it was amazing. We love selling our customers a “dream” and we are hopeful of many more Division 1 winners,” says Michael.
“We love providing excellent customer service and seeing our loyal customers regularly. Our social interaction with customers is greatly appreciated and very rewarding for us. We still work hard but have a good balance between work and time off so as not to become “stale”.
“The added bonus of having our shops is that we get to work and have fun with our long-term staff including our eldest daughter Melanie, who is also very valued in our business. We are also very grateful and proud of our other daughter Danielle, who is currently Bauer Media Newsagent of the Year and does a fantastic job running Nambour Village News. We are truly a family run business, which we love. We also hope our grandson will join us in the business at the end of the year.”