Christmas gift support

nx_chri_puzz1.JPGnewsXpress has created innovative marketing collateral to support our range of Christmas gift offers. The collateral makes each hero product, well, a hero and helps our members pitch their newsagencies as great places to shop this Christmas.

Our merchandise team has negotiated good deals around a range of carefully selected gift and related products to help our stores make the most of the Christmas gift opportunity.  These products help us position our group differently to the more traditional newsagency.

Our exclusive Christmas collateral is being provided without cost to all newsXpress member stores.  

At our National Support Centre newsXpress has a team of people working on opportunities such as our Christmas offer.  Each opportunity is carefully considered and weighed against the needs of our diverse member group.  Member meetings such as those being run this week and next provide us with opportunities to gain member feedback on our offers and refine them as necessary.

Here at newsXpress we take our role of helping our members grow their businesses seriously – even for a fun season like Christmas.

Giving away 20 Nintendo Wii

wii.JPGnewsXpress is giving away twenty Nintendo Wii as part of its in-store Back To School promotion.  To enter, consumers will register following their purchase in a newsXpress newsagency at our new website.

We selected the Wii because it connects well with the target demographic for Back To School.

newsXpress has been able to deliver this valuable prize pool thanks to the generous support of the key brands featured in our Back To School catalogue and in our supporting advertising.

Get organised for 2009

nx_organised.JPGGet organised for 2009 is the call to action in our marketing collateral around diaries and calendars this year.  newsXpress is helping its members leverage excellent diary and calendar sales this year through marketing collateral like the A5 brochure in the photo.  Many of our members are using this to draw shoppers in.  The key brands focus as well as a strong environmental message are helping to drive success.

Thanks to excellent negotiation by newsXpress we have been able to deliver very competitive pricing to our members and thereby strengthened the economic value of the diary and calendar categories.  Some new members find that their entire year’s membership fee is funded from the additional margin they make from one season of calendars.

Members meeting in Sydney

We are hosting a meeting with our NSW members on Thursday this week at the Ryde Paramatta Golf Club in West Ryde.  This morning meeting will be followed by a lunch and then a workshop on making more from greeting cards conducted by Ron Thorpe.

Even though it is a busy time of year for newsagents we have excellent bookings from members keen to attend.  We have a packed agenda with some excellent initiatives to share.  We will also be seeking member feedback on several opportunities presented to our group.

newsXpress members know the value of networking as well as developing skills.  These member meetings are a blend of both as well as an opportunity to discuss exclusive supplier offers.

newsXpress is glad to welcome prospective members to these meetings.  For an invitation please make contact with us.

Record Back To School uptake

Our merchandise team is thrilled with the numbers for our newsXpress exclusive Back To School offer.  More members have ordered more product than any other Back To School offer from the group.  This support is very encouraging.

Our approach with Back To School this year has been to provide a campaign which can work in with the widely supported GNS offer.  Our catalogue can run alongside or before or after the GNS Back To School offer.  The product cross over is minimal.  Members have told us that they like this synergy.  We like it too.  It seemed smart to us.

Lease help for newsagents

Negotiating a lease is a daunting task, one which often overwhelms newsagents as they navigate dealing with tough negotiators and are confronted with lease agreements which are burdened with legal jargon and unfair clauses which can, over the long term, devalue a newsagency.

To help newsXpress members navigate lease negotiations, newsXpress has a lease Consultant on our team.  Chris Hicks has years of experience in lease negotiations with all of Australia’s major landlords as well as many small independent developers. 

Chris liaises with the landlord, takes the emotion out of negotiation and leaves the newsagent to get on with building the business.

Chris Hicks’ service to newsXpress members sees him provide day to day help on lease issues which arise long after the lease is signed.  Issues such as outposting, lease lines, shop-fits and other operational matters can be resolved thanks to Chris’ help.

Over the last two years, Chris has successfully negotiated fifty new leases for newsXpress members.

Lease advice and support is another benefit newsagents can access when they join newsXpress.  It is part of a host of services we provide access to through our membership.

The customer focused newsagency marketing group

nx_pad.JPGnewsXpress continually looks for opportunities through which our members can enhance the customer experience and relationship. We do this knowing that to many consumers it is the relationship they have which determines their shopping loyalty. Through the year newsXpress offers a range of strategies and products through which our members can build stronger relationships with their customers.

This Christmas, we are offering our members exclusive access to personalised Things To Do pads as a customer gift. These pads will be put to good use by newsXpress newsagency customers and each time they are used there is a reminder of the business.

Newsagency marketing is more than the key and important seasons such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and the like. No, it is about relentless attention to detail in pursuit of a truly valuable relationship with customers.

The newsXpress exclusive Things To Do pad strategy, while small in focus, demonstrates how we obsess about the relationships our members have with their customers.

Magazine headers drive sales growth

nx_magheader.JPGMagazines are included in, on average, half of all purchases made in newsagencies. While the category faces some challenges, we know from our private newsXpress same store year-on-year data analysis that growth can be achieved. newsXpress pursues magazine sales growth through a considered business management strategy. We work closely with our members on a multi-faceted strategy which helps newsXpress newsagents resolve supply issues efficiently, improves the shopper experience and rewards loyalty.

A small but important part of our approach to magazines is our use of newsXpress branded headers in-store. These are placed at the top of each column of magazines. Our magazine headers clearly identify categories, identify the MPA (Magazine Publishers of Australia) code and thereby make title placement by newsagent staff easier and more consistent and make the department look professional.

Shoppers react well to our newsXpress magazine headers – they can more easily find the category they want. We have received complimentary comments about how professional they make the magazine department look.

Magazine headers are part of the starter pack new newsXpress members receive when they join our group. They, along with other magazine elements in our starter pack, allow us to introduce newsXpress strategies to new members as they prepare to re-launch under the newsXpress brand.

The headers are part of the reason newsXpress newsagencies outperform other newsagencies in year-on-year same store magazine sales.

Jilted at the alter

We heard from a person recently wanting to purchase a Newsagency the business he had been hoping to purchase failed when they found the business had to stick with their franchise agreement.

The newsagency is part of a franchise which forces the business to stay with the brand.  The prospective purchaser wanted to trade under another brand.  Due to this the sale fell through.

This story illustrates the danger in signing five-year franchise agreements.  When it comes time to sell your newsagency you want to be able to do this to the bidder you prefer.  That you then have to convince them to stick with your current brand could be the barrier which kills the sale.  In today’s marketplace such barriers are dangerous, they are a reason to think very carefully about locking your business, regardless of who owns it, into a franchise from which you cannot easily exit.

newsXpress has been asked to help several newsagents who have sought to leave a franchise and have been the target of legal action.  When we first heard about legal action by a newsagent franchise to force people to stay in a group we did not believe it.  Once we read the paperwork we knew it was real.

A newsagent / franchisor relationship is best built on results and on trust – not on legal threats.  While there is a need to document the relationship, we see no reason to force someone to remain in a group if the marriage is not working.

Navigating structural change

newsXpress is engaged, on behalf of its members, with several key newsagent suppliers in discussing change within the newsagent channel.  We represent 150 proactive entrepreneurial newsagents.  We are well positioned to more personally represent the needs of those members in discussing change than an industry association.  We have several communication channels and face to face contact points through which any changes can be discussed and navigated with newsagents.

Some suppliers have indicated that they are moving to major marketing group relationships because they find these more useful, in both directions, than going through an Association.

newsXpress takes care in all such supplier discussions.  Our mission is to improve the business performance and resale value of newsXpress member businesses.  This is what we pursue relentlessly in any discussion with suppliers.

A real difference is emerging among newsagents.  Now, more than ever before, it is important to belong to a proactive marketing group which helps you drive your business and which actively represents you on key issues and challenges.

newsXpress national conference follow up

nx_confbroch.JPGWe are proud that the newsXpress National Conference, run six weeks ago on the Gold Coast, continues to be talked about in a very positive light by newsagents and suppliers. To share highlights from the event and to promote our newsagency marketing group we have created a flyer – for a copy of this, please click here.

Our goal for the conference was to provide our members and a small group of invited newsagents, tools with which they can grow their newsagencies. This is happening. We have reports from members of changes implemented as a result of the conference which have delivered bankable results.

newsXpress is reinforcing key messages from the conference at member meetings being held nationally at the moment. These are providing an opportunity for a more practical discussion of opportunities highlighted at the national conference.

More newsagents attended this conference than any other newsagent conference this year.

If you are wanting to improve the performance of your newsagency then consider newsXpress.  We are pleased to work with proactive entrepreneurial newsagents who want to be the best newsagents in town.

Welcome new newsXpress members!

We are thrilled to welcome three newsagencies to newsXpress as from yesterday.  Our new members of the newsXpress newsagent community are from Yarram in Victoria and Wetherill Park and Young in New South Wales.

One of the most important benefits to newsagents who join our newsagency marketing group is the regular visits from our Business Development Managers.  These face to face on-site visits bring insights from other newsagencies and retail businesses direct to our members.  newsXpress is the only newsagent marketing group offering our structured in-store visits.  We see this as a reason newsXpress stores outperform other groups in delivering growth on a same-store year-on-year basis in several key departments.  Our BDMs are like having a business coach as part of the newsagency marketing service.

As new members, these newsagencies will also receive training and support in a range of areas of their businesses.  They will also have access to newsXpress exclusive deals, regular member meetings and a hot of other benefits provided to newsXpress newsagents.

We have more new members going through the final stages of joining so watch for more announcements in the next couple of weeks.

Halloween drives excellent results

wingingpromo.JPGnewsXpress proudly owns Halloween in the newsagency channel.  Our national network of stores, more than any other group of newsagencies, embrace Halloween for fun and for commercial success.  We started promoting Halloween three years ago and it has grown every year since.  This year, newsXpress stores have reported even better sales, many selling out.  In most cases, the Halloween promotion increases customer traffic and gets exising customers buying more – two key goals of any retail business.

While other retailers near some newsXpress locations have started copying what we do, our established product sourcing and marketing processes keep us head in this game.

Some stores promote the product offers and otherwise run the business as usual.  Others, as you can see from the photo jumped in wings and all.  Jarryd Moore of newsXpress Singleton Heights and his team went all out – dressing for the day in all manner of scary costumes.  While it may seem extreme to wear wings and dress in what to some customers may be a confronting look, it demonstrates an all in approach to the season and it shows the business having fun.

In retail, what we bring personally to the shopping experience is the most important point of difference our business can have.  hence the importance to embrace opportunities wholeheartedly and to have fun.  Customers notice.  They will be back again and again as a result of the unique experience.

If you want to enjoy your newsagency more and have excellent traffic generating and money making opportunities available to build a strong business, consider newsXpress.

There is a big difference between newsagency marketing groups.

Landlords love the newsXpress brand

nx_gateway.JPGWe are pleased to be in a position to have opportunities for new newsXpress locations in several key high growth area developments thanks to landlord faith in the newsXpress brand.  These greenfield location opportunities are excellent for newsXpress corporately and excellent for those who join with us in taking up the opportunities.

Approaches such as those currently before us come through our national leasing consultant.  He is contacted regularly by landlords with existing centre opportunities as well as greenfield opportunities. The newsXpress Board assesses these and selected the locations which offer the best opportunity for the business to flourish and represent our brand.

We do not enter into discussions with a landlord where an existing newsagent may be forced out.  This is against the principles of our organisation.  Our interest is in new opportunities and in building healthier existing newsagencies.

To be courted by landlords is both welcome and challenging.  Thanks to a dynamic and dedicated team on the ground and in our back office we are able continue to build the premier newsagency brand in Australia.

Networking is the key

Networking among like-minded proactive newsagents has been key to the success of newsXpress since the group began seven years ago.  Every three months, the group hosts member meetings in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.  At these meetings, members learn about new products and strategies, discuss business development initiatives and network with colleagues.

Politics and many day to day issues are left at the door as we work proactively as a group on improving our businesses and the newsXpress network more widely.  The meetings are lively and exciting.  They are a great way for anyone considering joining a marketing group to assess newsXpress and see our operation first-hand.

Our next Brisbane member meeting is on November 11, Sydney on November 13 and Perth on November 18.  If you are contemplating joining a newsagency marketing group and want to find out more about newsXpress, consider coming along to one of these meetings and see our team in action for yourself.

Hot ink offers for Halloween and beyond

hink_hal.JPGThe latest newsXpress Hot Ink campaign which started last week has a Halloween theme. Beyond being a bit of fun, we show we are serious about driving traffic to our stores and competing on price. Integrating simultaneous campaigns like this is common among national retailers but rare in newsagencies. newsXpress felt ready to take this step given the maturity and success of our Hot Ink campaigns.

The two page flyer is being delivered to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses around participating stores as part of our co-ordinated marketing campaign. The offer is even more timely than usual given the talk in the press on economic matters. People looking to save money know they can shop at newsXpress newsagencies for quality branded ink and toner and trust that our prices are excellent.

Many newsXpress members entered the ink and toner space only after being guided by newsXpress. Our training, support, supplier relationships and national marketing has combined to deliver excellent sales results. While newsXpress members are thrilled at winning new business from existing customers, they are even more thrilled at seeing new customers come through the door.

As the only newsagent group marketing ink and toner on TV, newsXpress members are well positioned to leverage this high growth category even further in the coming months.

If you want innovative marketing strategies for your newsagency, contact newsXpress.

Landmines in franchise agreements

We have been writing a bit here lately about newsagent franchise agreements and the need to read the fine print very carefully. This is important and timely advice given the pitch being made by a number of groups to newsagents.

Besides the challenges of being locked in for a five year term, newsagents need to be sure to check what happens if you try and sell your business. One agreement we have seen requires the newsagent having to offer the business to the franchise group once they have an offer from another party. A prospective purchaser is likely to baulk at this and not even undertake due diligence if they risk having their offer beaten by the franchise group.

If you are considering signing a franchise agreement, get independent legal advice from someone who understands such agreements. A bit of money spent in advance could save you from costs later if you want to exit the group.

Promoting calendars and diaries

nx_cal.JPGnewsXpress has produced a brochure promoting calendars and diaries for our members. This handy brochure promotes range – critical in the specialist calendar marketplace. The brochure is another of the resources our merchandise and marketing teams creates for members to use in-store and externally to drive traffic and achieve more profitable baskets.

Calendars have been a focus of newsXpress since the group started seven years ago. Our calendar strategy is more developed than any other newsagency marketing group from what we can see. Our members make better margins and have access to category specialists who help drive better margin and guide ranging decisions. The bottom line is, well, the bottom line. Calendars can be very lucrative for newsagents who embrace the newsXpress / calendarXpress strategies wholeheartedly.

The brochure features respected brands such as Hallmark, Collins Debden, Bartel and Browntrout to name a few.

Card workshop for Sydney

newsXpress is hosting a greeting card workshop in Sydney following its member’s meeting on November 13.  This is a great opportunity for newsagents who want to grow their greeting card sales.  Developed exclusively for newsXpress by Ron Thorpe, this workshop is packed with strategies you can use right away without spending more money.  Based on years of experience and a good knowledge of strategies which are successful here in Australia and overseas, attendees are bound to leave ready to make some good moves in the card space.

newsXpress is a full service marketing group and this workshop is an excellent example of the company reinvesting in the newsagency channel to drive better business outcomes for newsagents.

Back to school popular

nxbts.jpgThe Back To School offer put together by the newsXpress merchandise department has surpassed all sales expectations. Our members have embraced the offer because of the quality brand name product, excellent prices and other aspects of our strategy which we are not about to share in this public place.

What is most pleasing is the uptake from newsXpress members who would not usually make a big Back To School commitment for local reasons. They have embraced our offer because we have pitched a range of product which is relevant to their circumstances.

The newsXpress Back To School range and the supporting national marketing and advertising campaigns will drive new customers to our shops and improve sales efficiency from existing customers. This is a key part of the newsXpress mission for its members.