Hallmark US Retail Study Tour


Photo from the 2007 Hallmark Tour to North America – newsXpress stores have supported these study trips for the past 3 years, the (2007) newsXpress stores were:

  • Jarrod Black from newsXpress Northside Plaza,
  • Chris and Feroza McNamara newsXpress Robina,
  • Lyndal Lever newsXpress the Pines,
  • Ben Kay newsXpress Forest Hill,
  • Laura Fletcher Sophie Randall Forest Hill
  • Carmen Dunkley newsXpress Jimboomba, and
  • Graham Randall newsXpress Watergardens

With the learning’s from the seminars and retail visits newsXpress stores come back and implement what they have learnt which is one of the reasons the newsXpress group is recognised as the leaders in the industry. newsXpress representatives also
identify product in the US which is then brought in exclusively for the group. This study tour and the opportunities it presents for networking, information sharing and product identification is part of the reason why newsXpress entered a strategic partnership with Hallmark. The massive growth in sales proves the arrangement is mutually beneficial! The 2008 tour is planned for July and official invitations will be sent in the next month.


Pictured: Ron Thorpe, Graham Randall &David Hall

David is President of Hallmark Cards Personal Expression Group and grandson of J.C Hall founder of Hallmark Cards.


Luck’s a fortune at newsXpress

Never has a statement been proven true more often than in 2007, culminating with the Superdraw to end the year as customers from newsXpress Robina & newsXpress Windsor became instant millionaires.


Pictured are: Tony, Anastasia, Jayde, and Chris (newsXpress Robina)

The transition into 2008 has so far been just as prolific with the following stores all reporting big wins in the opening two weeks:

  • newsXpress Chippandall’s – $14, 055.65 in the 2nd of January Wednesday Gold Lotto draw;
  • newsXpress Dapto – $300,000 in the January 7th NSW Lotteries Draw;
  • newsXpress Nambour & newsXpress Pacific Pines – $72,598.50 in the January 10th Powerball draw; &
  • newsXpress Ashmore – $79,321.05 in the January 17th Powerball draw.


Pictured: Danny & Milicia – newsXpress Dapto have a history of selling first prizes in lotteries and Lotto, see the plaques in the background.

newsXpress Halloween – Xpress your Spooky side…

newsXpress support a retail Halloween promotion each year with great gusto. While detractors will claim this is an American tradition we choose to put our very own Australian slant on the event and celebrate the fun party aspect.

Sales of party supplies, costumes and confectionery are outstanding and customers get a genuine buzz from the theatre put on by all of our members.

A promotion can only be as successful as you make it and Halloween proves that 100% commitment achieves the results to make it all worthwhile.

See the You Tube video for a small taste of Halloween – newsXpress style!

newsXpress Salamander Bay ‘Gala Opening’

newsXpress Salamander Bay opened amid a flurry of fanfare on Halloween 2007. Fortunately the excitement and all of the fabulous preparation and execution by Fiona & Adrian Matthews and their team was captured on film and we are proud to now be able to share the video thanks to the newsXpress Blog and Youtube.

newsXpress Salamander Bay ‘Gala Opening’

Since Salamander Bay have joined the team at newsXpress they have experienced an amazing sales increase by participating in exclusive promotions. HOT ink! saw an increase of 554% in volume and 361% (year on year Oct 06 vs Oct 07), an unexpected benefit of this was a flow on effect in other departments with Computer Accessories up 442% and Computer Labels up 106%.

Hot Stationery Deals also delivered an impressive 18% increase across the entire stationery department and even Halloween returned a profit!

newsXpress launches into 2008

The newsXpress Support Team gathered in Melbourne last week to launch 2008.

A renewed energy and focus on growing the member base and building the business of existing members has been made the clear direction. This is evidenced by the announcement of inaugural newsXpresser and Director, Graham Randall taking up the role of Director of Business Development. Graham’s experience and reputation will be invaluable with nurturing relationships and continuing to improve the industry.

newsXpress Team 2008

From top right: Mark Nagy, Trent Shields, Ian Urquhart, Mark Fletcher, Graham Randall, Sonia Ruhland.
From bottom right: Roger Bortfield, Mary McNeil, Keith Sonerson, Karen Sutton, Lesley Bortfield, Michelle Caia.

‘Mr Hallmark’ Ron Thorpe announces his retirement

Ron Thorpe the man affectionately known as Australia’s own ‘Mr Hallmark’ throughout his tenure has announced his retirement.

Ron was an integral member of the team who negotiated the Hallmark/newsXpress strategic partnership and will remain a staunch newsXpress supporter. Ron’s dedication and loyalty to the newsagency industry is unsurpassed. Over his 40 years at Hallmark has made many friends and helped many newsagents.

Ron enjoys a game of golf, so don’t hesitate to invite him up for a game now he has more time on his hands.

We wish Ron and his wife Gay all the best in his well deserved retirement.

'Mr Hallmark' Ron Thorpe.JPG

Larger than life Ron Thorpe pictured here with newsXpress Business Development Manager, Karen Sutton.

Do you newsXpress?

If you didn’t before you surely will now!

On behalf of the team at newsXpress we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thanks to Justin Randall for the video.

newsXpress Deception Bay take a leaf out of Myer’s Christmas Book

For generations of children Christmas was about the anticipation of Father Christmas, the end of the school year and a trip to the city to admire the Myer windows.

However a new attraction is competing with Myer this year. newsXpress Deception Bay have created their own version in their large front windows, filling them with toys, gifts and merriment. Congratulations to Brett & Alexandra Carey and their team for the magical video.

$30million Superdraw

Eumundi - Superdraw Dec07_1.jpg

Nothing captures the imagination like a lottery jackpot and Manni Ribeiro and his team at newsXpress Eumundi have provided the perfect environment for customers to dream that dream.
Golden Casket (the Queensland lottery governing body) have provided some of the marketing materials but the ingenuity and creativity of this pro-active newsagent has made it truly a winning destination.
Eumundi - Superdraw Dec07_2.jpg

Eumundi - Superdraw Dec07_4.jpg

Customers spoilt for choice with newsXpress Back to School catalogues

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newsXpress members have the option of participating in two separate catalogues promotions this ‘Back to School’ season. This is another point of difference offered to members who are free to select which document best represents their local market or business goals.
Some stores are even participating in both events to maximise sales and really compete with others in this space.

newsXpress explains the Good and Bad of retail at Christmas


As part of their membership to newsXpress, various seasonal marketing materials are provided to store’s. This Christmas two separate T-Shirt designs were produced and distributed.
HO HO HO linked in with the traditional catch cry of Santa Claus while BAH HUMBUG was a nod to another famous Christmas character Ebeneezer Scrooge.
Both shirts could be considered a little risque due to current political correctness trends however have been warmly embraced by team members and customers alike who appreciate they are part of the difference at newsXpress.
Retail can be a tough gig, especially around Christmas, but it can also be a lot of fun!!! The HO HO HO and BAH HUMBUG are our representation of the retail environment.


Thank you to newsXpress Buderim (top) and newsXpress Deception Bay team members for modeling the shirts.

Back to School specialists – newsXpress Chippandall’s

The old saying ‘bigger is better’ certainly rings true in Bundaberg. Peter Heaps who owns the two newsXpress Chippandall’s stores knows the value of marketing his business, and how! Five rotating television ads and a distribution of 50,000 catalogues are part of the answer as to why he is GNS’ biggest stationery customer.
Watch the ads carefully and pick up on the features:
* Strong representation of the business name using a catchy slogan “slip into Chippy’s”

* Background use of the newsXpress jingle – linking all ad campaigns together

* Presentation of traditional and technology products to advertise a point of difference

* A great customer competition with a highly desirable large screen plasma TV as the prize.

Hallmark Christmas Merchandising at newsXpress Melton

newsXpress Melton have cleverly utilised their Hallmark Alliance marketing materials along with selected gift lines to create a visually stunning display in their giant exposed front window. Situated in a High St location they rely on attracting new customers through external marketing including how they present themselves as a business.
Representing your business with well executed seasonal displays is more likely to be successful than maintaining a standard facadeMelton & G Park 001 v2.jpg

Knowing your business – newsXpress Station Square

It is refreshing to meet small business owners and newsagents in particular who understand the need to spend money on marketing in order to build their business. With so much competition for the consumer dollar nowadays a targeted and varied local area marketing strategy can often be the difference between flourishing or perishing.
Ian Hargreaves from newsXpress Station Square, Maryborough has wholly embraced this program with his enthusiasm for promoting his new consumable ink and technology category along with old staples like Back to School.
His BTS television ad is linked below this article and is a fine example of the newsXpress brand including the clever cross-promotion of the unique newsXpress Magazine Club Card.

newsXpress Station Square – BTS08.wmv

Local Area Marketing – Television in Rockhampton

Ashley Lynch, manager at newsXpress Rockhampton has just completed twelve months worth of ads with Channel 7 in the local area culminating with this Christmas ad.
Due to the success of the ad campaign and his strong network contacts Ashley has co-ordinated five newsXpress stores to join him in producing event specific advertisements for the newsXpress group.
This is another strength of the newsXpress brand that several stores in a local area can join together to share the costs and reap the benefits of a larger scale marketing promotion than they would be able to afford or facilitate on their own.

See the newsXpress Rockhampton ad here…

Rockhampton Area – Ad Dec07.wmv

If newsagents are expensive…?

With the newsXpress HOT ink! #4 flyer in the marketplace for six weeks already it is refreshing to see major retailers still struggling to match the great prices.
The HP #21 Black & #22 Colour Ink Cartridge Combo Pack listed at $40.55 in the HOT ink! flyer is also featured in the current Officeworks “Christmas with a difference” catalogue for the value pack savings price of $47.95!

Many other advertised products have had to drastically slash the RRP to come in underneath the HOT ink! prices. Members have reported this is apparent at not just Officeworks, but BIG W, Harvey Norman and others.

Heartwarming stories still a feature at newsXpress

newsXpress Garbutt in Townsville sold the second division prize in last week’s Powerball draw. A brand new shopfit at the Garbutt store last Christmas has had it’s desired effect diminished due to a tardy renovation job on the centre.However this has done nothing to lessen the pride with which owners Steve and Alana Payne recalled their customers lucky day.
A 40 year old bachelor who looks after his ailing mother is now $62,000 wealthier, and when he came in to check his ticket Alana thought he was going to faint with joy! A great story! The streamers and balloons are going up today and they plan to share the story in their local area with a newsletter feature.

Local Area Marketing with newsXpress

Around major promotional times small business and newsagents are often looking at different ways to gain a larger share of the market. Most newsagents will allocate funds to marketing in their regular business operation and it is at these times that they need to wisely invest this money.

One effective method to increase their exposure and therefore potential foot traffic and ultimately sales is by running a radio campaign. The level of participation in radio will depend greatly upon your location. Advertising rates in metropolitan areas differ substantially from their regional equivalents.

newsXpress offers their expertise in negotiation, demographics, frequency as well as script and copy writing to members to gain this critical advantage.
Several members have already in conjunction with newsXpress and various radio stations produced effective ads for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and the Ink promotions – Need Ink? and HOTink!

For more information on how you can get started with your owm radio strategy contact the newsXpress Communications Centre.

Listen to the ad

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