New website coming

Development of a new website for newsXpress is well under way. The new site will be a complete replacement of the current newsXpress website. It will deliver new consumer and member functionality as well as present a bright and exciting new face for newsXpress.

The new site will be released in stages with the full functionality we intend for the site not being completely released until the first quarter of next year. There are some exciting innovations coming which will help newsXpress newsagents continue to lead the newsagent channel in year on year same store growth.

Making money from Greeting Cards

newsXpress is proud to announce the launch of its first Workshop series: How to Make Money from Greeting Cards.  Developed and run by Ron Thorpe, formerly a senior executive with Hallmark Cards, this four hour workshop (followed by lunch) will provide practical help for any newsagent wanting to grow greeting card sales. The workshop content will include:

  • How to see new retail sales opportunities
  • Planning for extra sales
  • How to increase the average sale
  • Why you need to embrace the greeting cards category

Too many newsagents treat greeting cards as a set-and-forget category.  Our approach at newsXpress is to provide members with exclusive tools which help drive card sales and ensure that these are as valuable as possible. Click here for more details and a booking form for the Ron Thorpe workshop.

We know from sales data that newsXpress newsagents lead the newsagent channel in year on year card sales performance.  This workshop is part of our strategy to help our stores to continue to lead the industry.

newsXpress will announce details of more workshops in the coming months.

Connecting remote members

In what we understand to be a first for a newsagency marketing group, newsXpress is proud to announce two online member meetings – making it even easier for remote newsagents to more actively participate in the newsXpress experience.  The first two online newsXpress member meetings will be October 14 and 15 at 11am and 2pm respectively.

Offering opportunities for like-minded newsagents to get together and share ideas is a key reason newsagents join newsXpress.  We run regular capital city bases members meetings as well as regular regional cluster meetings.  The new online member meetings will enable members across various states engage with others they see less frequently.

Using world-class online meeting management technology, the online meetings will operate almost as if everyone is in the one room.  Our head Office team will present our Back to School and other upcoming campaigns as well as facilitate open dialogue among members.

If the first two online members meetings receive positive feedback newsXpress will schedule more for 2009.

The newsXpress team

We took a moment during the newsXpress conference last week top get a photo of our team. It is appropriate that we are standing in front of the slide showing the suppliers who contributed to make the conference the success it was.


Missing is Michelle Caia – our calendars and gifts expert – and Chris Hicks – our leasing consultant.

Hearing from members

An important aspect of the National newsXpress Conference last week on the Gold Coast was the Show and Tell presentations from members. Five members spoke about specific experiences relating back to their newsXpress involvement. These presentations included:

jcarlisle.JPGJim Carlile from newsXpress Buderim speaking about the importance of alignment of all in the group behind the brand and the brands it supports. Jim spoke about his experience with Terry White Chemists and how alignment was successfully used to strengthen that group and its members into a successful retail group.

nhilder.JPGNici Hilder spoke about how they grew card and related sales at newsXpress Castle Towers, taking us through through several major transitions of their business to the showpiece newsagency her family has today at the Castle Towers centre in NSW. Nici shared some important learnings applicable to everyone.

jmoore.JPGJarryd Moore spoke – connecting with the about how to communicate with Gen. Y. he connected with the keynote address from Peter Sheehan. Jarryd spoke from personal experience is methods which help improve communication between employers and Gey Y employees including mobile phones, email, websites and even My Space.

Proud support from Pacific Magazines

nx_conf_bhg.JPGA highlight of the last day of the newsXpress National Conference was the presentation by Zoe Petrou (pictured left) and Jane Peterson-McIllhatton  from Pacific Magazines to newsXpress with the completed Better Homes and Gardens painting. This painting was completed over the course of the conference by attendees and the Pacific magazine team. This painting will be proudly displayed on the wall at our Head Office and remind us of our first conference.

Painting together

dsc04218.JPGTo celebrate Inaugural newsXpress Conference on the Gold Coast this week and the 30th anniversary of Better Homes and Gardens, the folks at Pacific Magazines invited conference attendees to share in painting something for the wall of the newsXpress Head Office. The photo captures Shelley Petersen of newsXpress Sarina with brush in hand  adding her touch to the painting.   Some of us less skilled at painting than Shelley were thankful that there were lines to guide our painting.

This was a fun activity from Pacific Magazines for the trade show part of the two day conference.

Annette Sym inspires newsagents

dsc04224.JPGAnnette Sym set the newsXpress conference alight yesterday with her presentation on why she sells her Symply Too Good To Be True cookbooks exclusively through newsagents. Her weight loss, personal development, business success story is inspirational and commitment to newsagents and the newsXpress group in particular deeply appreciated.

Annette Sym is one of many speakers at the conference helping us connect with the theme of embracing change and propelling our businesses to a higher level.

Building a stronger newsagency business

dsc04174.JPGThe newsXpress conference sessions over two days were very well attended and the speakers highly rated.  Key suppliers such as Tracey Wright, Managing Director of Hallmark Cards, Eugene Varricchio, Group General Manager – retail Sales & Distribution ACP Magazines and Vicki Rossi, Retail Sales & Circulation Director Pacific Magazines shared invaluable insights into their businesses and the performance of newsXpress newsagencies compared to other retailers.  Business development speakers such as Gary Bertwistle, Peter Irvine, Peter Sheehan and Damian Knoblanche provided us with business ideas and insights we can use to strengthen our individual businesses and the newsXpress network more completely.  It has been two days of business and personal recharge.

Peter Sheehan kicks off newsXpress conference

sheehan.JPGPeter Sheehan was the keynote speaker opening the first ever newsXpress national conference yesterday on the Gold Coast.  A packed conference room listened as Peter talked about the challenges newsagents face and shared some strategies we can use to address these in pursuit of evolutionary business models.  Peter also presented two well attended workshops in the afternoon on Generation Y – providing excellent insights into working with and serving this sometimes challenging generation.

newsXpress is committed to provide its members with excellent learning and motivational opportunities.

Sea World opener for newsXpress conference

dsc04165.JPGAttendees at the inaugural newsXpress National Conference were treated to a night at Sea World on the Gold Coast last night as the opening event.  Following a wonderful show by Sea World’s dolphins and their handlers during which two members got to play with the dolphins, we headed off for a wonderful meal looking over part of the Sea World park.  The night was a relaxing and inspirational start to the conference.

The night was all the more special because the location of the evening had been kept secret.

At newsXpress we understand that surprise is important, especially in retail where customers expect the same old same old.  Bringing surprise into retail helps a business navitage to greater success.

Expansion for QLD newsXpress team

newsXpress, the premier marketing group for Australian newsagents, today announced further expansion with the appointment Belinda Adshead to a newly created role as Business Development Manager.

Belinda brings more than five years of practical newsagency experience to this new role, most recently with newsXpress Robina on the Gold Coast where she managed the stationery department for two thriving retail outlets.

The Business Development Manager role is unique to newsXpress and a key reason newsXpress members perform so well so well in key product categories.

“Belinda brings the kind of hand-on experience we need to serve our growing Queensland member base.” said Graham Randall, founding Director of newsXpress. “her passion for newsagencies and the newsXpress mission is an exciting and welcome addition to our team”.

newsXpress Business Development Managers work very closely with newsXpress members in their businesses on newsXpress exclusive strategies. It is through this in-the-field connection with its members that newsXpress is able to outperform other marketing groups.

Belinda will work with newsXpress full time out of the company’s Brisbane office.

Preparing for the conference

nx_bags.JPGIt is all hands on desk as we make final preparations for our inaugural newsXpress conference here at Conrad Juptiers Casino on the Gold Coast.  While the golfers are out enjoying the fine Gold Coast weather, others are here at conference headquarters preparing gift bags and other materials for attendees. 

The fun starts tonight with a dinner and relaxing social evening at a secret venue.  We have been careful to balance the agenda to ensure that it is a learning and battery-recharge experience.  Owning and operating a newsagency is a challenge and establishing a work-life balance can be difficult.  Hence the inclusion of relaxation opportunities for newsXpress members to take a break.

newsXpress conference this week

nxconfbrochure.JPGnewsXpress members and our entire team are preparing to gather at the Gold Coast from tomorrow for our inaugural national conference.  Tomorrow kicks off with a golf day at the Robina Woods course followed by an evening event at a secret destination.

The conference proper begins Thursday with an excellent range of speakers including our keynote from the world renowned Peter Sheehan from New Zealand.  The two days are packed with value oriented presentations and workshops, ensuring that all participants will leave with innovations to implement.

Accompanying the conference is a full trade display where newsXpress preferred suppliers offer products and terms exclusive to newsXpress.

Calendar season in full swing

nx_cal.JPGCalendar season for 2009 has well and truly started based on sales data we are seeing from newsXpress stores.

Thanks to strategic supplier relationships, many newsXpress stores have an excellent range of special interest calendars.  These are key to early season calendar sales.

Michelle Caia is our in-house calendar specialist with years of experience in this lucrative category.  newsXpress is the only newsagent marketing group with such a resource.  Michelle is a key reason our newsXpress newsagecnies perform so well in calendar sales and margin.

We see excellent synergy between calendars, greeting cards and magazines – each category attracts consumers based on habit and habit is driven by range, especially in the special interest areas.

Meet the team

The newsXpress team met for most of yesterday in Melbourne to discuss the next phase of our development and make final plans for our national conference on the Gold Coast next week. We took the opportunity to get a group photo. Take a look at the team committed to helping newsagents get the best out of their businesses:


From left to right, front to back: Ian Urquhart, Michelle Caia, Paul Waite, Karen Sutton, Lesly Bortfield, Belinda Adshead, Ben Kay, Trent Shields, Jeff Walsh, Ron Thorpe, Roger Bortfield, Graham Randall, Mark Fletcher and Sonia Ruhland.

Where can I find newsXpress?

On the other end of the phone was someone who has seen our TV ad for ink and wanted to know her nearest store so she could get the ink we at the price we are currently advertising. Every day we are hearing stories like this, stories of the latest TV commercial and other marketing which is changing consumer behaviour and bringing traffic to newsXpress stores.

Earlier this year we committed to increasing store traffic through a number of startegies. Our TV campaign is one of those. Even though this campaignn is only a few days old we already have good evidence of increased awareness leading to sales from consumers who were used to purchasing brand name ink elsewhere.

Bringing people back to the newsagency channel for stationery items and, in particular, bringing them to newsXpress, is an important part of our mission.

TV lures suppliers

The latest TV commercial from newsXpress – which started airing on Sunday – is attracting more than good consumer interest in our stores. Suppliers respect our investment in our brand and want to share in the newsXpress experience. While we are not about to make a supplier decision because of a pitch resulting from our latest TV commercial, it is pleasing to see our investment in the newsXpress brand being so noticed.

In 2008, the newsXpress brand will be the newsagent brand most widely advertised on TV. The more important measure, however, is the commercial results achieved from the advertising. This is what gets suppliers interested. Our innovative national stage marketing places us well in discussions with suppliers – current and prospective.

Historically, newsagents have negotiated fro a position of critical mass. Our approach is to negotiate having demonstrated our capabilities. The latest TV commercial is a good demonstration of our capabilities and our commitment to promoting the brands which support newsXpress newsagents.

Promoting the shredder

dsc04009.JPGFather’s Day has been a tremendous success at newsXpress this year.  Our stores have had a range of good-value items available including this Safeguard shredder which also came with a free photo album valued at $9.95.  The album was exclusive to newsXpress and provided us with another way to show the value of the newsXpress difference – to the consumer and to the newsXpress newsagent.

We understand that we compete against the big retail chains and that having a genuine point of difference is crucial.  Our merchandise team looks for ways to show this beyond price and range.

newsXpress members have reported excellent results from the shredder offer.