Australia, On 8-15 June 2019, Australia will celebrate a mainstay of thousands of communities: the newsagent. The inaugural National Newsagent Week recognises the contributions of newsagents, which are visited frequently by one in three Australians.
Across Australia newsagents are hubs in their communities, with 79% of Australians continuing to shop at newsagents, and one in three Australians doing so weekly, according to new consumer insights research from the Retail Doctor Group.
Ben Kearney, CEO of the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) explained, “During National Newsagent Week, newsagents and their suppliers will celebrate the communities that they serve and thank all of the Australians who visit their stores. Newsagents will be offering their customers special offers, recognising special members of their community, holding charity fundraisers, inviting their local Members of Parliament, hosting competitions, and more.
“Newsagents have proven their resilience as they have evolved in changing times to meet the needs of their individual communities. And the market has responded, with convenience and browsing remaining the key reasons people enjoy newsagents. Over half of customers visit a newsagent due to their convenience and 1 in 2 see newsagents as a destination retailer.
“Many businesses of yester-years are dying or gone – but newsagents continue to resiliently change. There is no doubt that changes in retail and the products that newsagents have traditionally sold, are an ongoing challenge for newsagents. But what we have seen is that newsagents are diversifying their businesses to adapt to change and to focus on being a community hub and concierge that offers what their local market wants.
“For example, hybrid models have popped up around the country that combine a newsagent with another core product offer, such as a bookshop, café, florist, collectables and hobby shop, design and printing business, Post Office, IGA, or pharmacy, which is working well. Newsagents are also often outcompeting their local gift shop, postal service, stationery or art supplies shop, or toy store. While 54% of Australians are no longer buying magazines and newspapers in-store, newsagents have become destinations for others purchases such as giftware and toys, stationery and locally made products.
“Our survey showed that 79% of people would visit a newsagent more often if they offered other services, the top service being a post office at 63% so we know our newsagents are doing the right thing by evolving to offer their customers more.
“Savvy newsagents are appealing to today’s omni-shopper who likes to shop both in-store and online, by embracing both market places and also using social media to make it easy for customers to understand what’s new when they shop with them.
“And 34% of Australians said they were influenced when walking past our stores, so having a physical presence and a great display, even in this digital age, can make a big difference to retailers.
“But the main thing that has kept newsagents resilient to a degree, and one of the things we do really well – particularly in local communities, is that we sell quality human interaction and local knowledge. Friendly and knowledgeable staff are the most important attributes of newsagents; they know their store and they know what’s going on in their community,” he said.
National Newsagent Week will engage with communities all over the country and will encourage all Australians to continue to support their local newsagent. But more than that, National Newsagent Week is an opportunity for newsagents to thank their communities for their support.
Mr Kearney continued, “The Australian Lottery and Newsagent Association is Australia’s peak industry body for news and lottery agents. Over the years we have seen that newsagents are known for generating foot traffic, in particular repeat customers, for example, for lotteries. It’s the reason why most brand new shopping centres include a newsagent as a foundation store.
“Bricks and mortar retail is definitely hard work, but newsagents offer two things that cannot be offered in online retail: community and convenience. And while newsagents’ offerings will continue to evolve, those two sought-after qualities will remain.”
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For further information, interviews and images, please contact:
Phoebe Netto, Pure Public Relations on 0401 036 610 or [email protected]
About Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA)
The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) is the peak national industry body for Australia’s newsagents and lottery agents. Representing a significant part of the Australian economy, ALNA advocates for the largest non-franchised family owned business sector in Australia.