Stationery sales slide at ‘traditional’ news agencies

Stationery sales slide at ‘traditional’ news agencies

Feb 21, 2017

Plush is one of the strongest growth categories for news agencies.

Stationery sales at news agencies dropped markedly in the pre-Christmas period according to the latest “benchmark survey” by news agency owner and commentator Mark Fletcher.

Fletcher, a director of franchise group newsXpress and software company Tower Systems, says the December 2016 quarter for traditional news agencies was “dreadful” with 85% of surveyed businesses reporting a decline in stationery sales with the average decrease being 2,7%.

The latest survey covered 171 news agencies – large and small, city and country, shopping centre and high street and from all Newspower, the various versions of Nextra and newsXpress as well as independents.

The overall results:

  • Customer traffic – 67% of news agents report average decline of 2.6%;
  • Overall sales – 63% reported an average revenue decline of 3.6%;
  • Basket depth – 65% report a 1.2% decrease in basket size;
  • Basket dollar value – 67% report a decrease in basket value of 2.1%; and
  • Discounting – 27% of respondents use a structured loyalty offer such as points or some other discount.

Benchmark results by key departments:

  • Magazines – 78% report an average decline in unit sales of 11.7%;
  • Newspapers – 81% report average decline in over the counter unit sales of 11.6%;
  • Greeting cards – 52% of report average revenue increase of 2%;
  • Lotteries – 58% of those with lotteries report average decline of 2% in transactions;
  • Stationery – 85% of news agents report a decline, with an average of 2.7%;
  • Ink – 22% of stores report ink separately. Of these, 51% reported increase of 2%;
  • Gifts – of the 72% with gifts, 74% report average growth of 6.9%;
  • Tobacco – pf the 44% with tobacco, 85% report an average decline of 11%;
  • Confectionery – of the 51% with confectionery, 60% report an average decline of 4%; and
  • Toys – of the 16% with toys, 80% report growth of 6.7%.

On a brighter note, Fletcher says a third of participating news agency businesses doubled gift sales in the December 2016 quarter compared to 2015.

“The most successful news agency in gifts did over $100 000 in gift sales the quarter. This is a regional news agency in a high street situation,” he says. “The most successful news agency in the plush category did over $70 000 in plush revenue in the quarter.”

Source: www.stationerynews.com.au