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NLNA MEMBER PROFILE – Tawonga South Newsagency & Post Office

NLNA MEMBER PROFILE – Tawonga South Newsagency & Post Office

Address: 221 Kiewa Valley Highway, Tawonga South, Vic, 3698

Stephen and Lynne purchased the business in 1993, which at that time included takeaway food, a newsagency and a post office. At that time, they were one of five authorised newsagencies in the Upper Kiewa Valley.

They decided to exit the food industry in 2000 to concentrate on their Post Office and Newsagency. They also built a larger shop on an adjoining block. They took a break from retail in 2009 when they sold the business. However, the couldn’t stay away and purchased the business back in 2011 when the new owners went broke.

Stephen and Lynne came into their second stint as owner/operator with a fresh mindset and a new full-time partner, Macca and decided to operate without any staff. They are now the only newagency in the Upper Kiewa Valley and supply from the ski resort of Falls Creek to Dederang. As they have a lot of artists in their area (like most country towns), they have set up an Art Department selling quality supplies which has been a highlight for them in the last ten years.

Stephen and Lynne have diversified into quality giftware as well, which is also a winner. In the last three years, they have been able to add Tattslotto to the business which has worked well for them and tends to get new customers through the door as well as being a profitable addition to the business. The old staple, magazines, is still a favourite after 28 years, sales are still increasing as opposed to newspapers. They do give a lot of space to magazines, but they are easy to manage and still sell through the age groups.

COVID has surprisingly been good for the store. During lockdowns, locals who have never ventured through their doors, instead of shopping in larger centres, have discovered quality not just in their business but other local stores and many have remained regular customers.

In their spare time, Stephen was Treasurer of Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Club for 12 years and is now in his 7th year as President of Mount Beauty Golf Club. The business also has regular weekly sponsorship of a couple of local organisations.

Stephen and Lynne’s next plan is to retire, but cannot decide when, as they are enjoying work too much.

Whilst Stephen and Lynne are very reluctant to give advice, they believe that in any business customer service is the most important aspect. Try and call your customers by name, a lot of their customers have become good friends.

Also, try not to overwork yourself. Remember to make plans to have time off even if only 2 days per week and work to enjoy life. Making a fortune, especially in a small country town is not always going to happen, but you can have fun and survive. They were burnt out when they sold the first time, but with a different outlook, work is now enjoyable.

NLNA MEMBER PROFILE – Churchill Newsagency

NLNA MEMBER PROFILE – Churchill Newsagency

Address: Shop 2 Hazelwood Village, Churchill, Vic, 3842

Racheal Telehin has been lucky enough to be able to manage Churchill Newsagency, a wonderful little store in Hazelwood Village.

One of the key things Racheal believes makes a store great is having a fantastic team, who are customer orientated.

The store prides itself on being very community-minded, by giving sponsorship or support for raffles and fundraisers.

During the many lockdowns, they have had to diversify into other areas such as clothing and also having consignment stock from local artists, which has been very successful.

The store’s main focus going forward is to be able to offer a variety of different products, to make it convenient for their customers to purchase everything from magazines, Lotto, clothing, toys and giftware.

Racheal’s advice for anyone thinking of getting into the field, is to think outside the box and to listen to your customer. It’s a very rewarding job!

NLNA MEMBER PROFILE – Austin Knox Office Supplies

NLNA MEMBER PROFILE – Austin Knox Office Supplies

Store Owner: Roop Singh
Address: 100 Nicholson Street, Footscray
“One minute you sell a Serbian a newspaper, the next you are wiring a money transfer to South Sudan. We sell 22 international language newspapers daily. I love servicing my community and reminiscing with the older generation when they collected their newspapers here too” – Roop.

Roop’s story in Australia began in 1999 when he came here to complete his Masters in Information Technology. After beginning a career in this field, he decided he really wanted to be a small business owner. Once a business broker showed him Austin Knox Office Supplies, he immediately knew it was the right fight and he soon joined our ranks as a newsagent.

Fifteen years has passed since then, and Roop is proud to have kept a local business name and identity of over 100 years old alive and well in Footscray. It began as a drafting supplies store at another site and eventually moved to its current location and transformed into a stationery store and newsagency.

Roop relishes the constant revolution in the newsagency industry and is interested to see how the channel adapts to constant digital disruptions. Roop aims to meet this change in demand via increasing his tech gadget range and incorporating Amazon Hub into his business, whilst maintaining traditional products like cards and newspapers.

NLNA MEMBER PROFILE  Nambour News & Casket Agency

NLNA MEMBER PROFILE Nambour News & Casket Agency

Address: Shop 28, 52-54 Currie Street, Nambour, Qld, 4560.

Store Owner: Rodney & Marisa Page
Years as a Newsagent: +2 years
Products Sold: Newspapers plus home delivery, magazines, stationery, gift cards & wrap, gifts, drinks, confectionery, Beefy’s pies, Cartridge World ink cartridges, Amazon Hub, TNT & FedX parcel service, Ladbrokes, Blueshyft, Lotto, E-Pay Phone credit, Cigarettes, Go-Cards, photocopying service, dry cleaning service

WINNING STORIES
As Nambour no longer has a regional newspaper, Rodney & Marisa approached the editor of a free local newspaper and offered to do home delivery for them on a Sunday and in return they offered a free advert of their store in the newspaper in every issue. Their customers love receiving this paper for their local news.
BUSINESS CHANGES & ADAPTIONS IN 2020 

In 2020, with COVID-19, their business kept going strong as home deliveries increased and in-store sales increased, especially lotto. Rodney & Marisa added a lot of other services to their newsagency which were not there when they purchased the business. 

In 2021, Rodney & Marisa will be looking at what other services and/or products they can bring in to generate more sales/foot traffic. 

LOCAL COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS 

Rodney & Marisa continually donate to local charities. They also do lots of giveaways to give back to the customers that support them.

RODNEY & MARISSA’S ADVICE

Rodney & Marisa advise prospective newsagents to thoroughly research locations for newsagencies, by asking questions such as:

–    Is it in a high foot traffic area?
–    Are there home deliveries involved? 
–    How large of an area is to be covered?
–    Is there potential for other services to be incorporated into the newsagency? 

If you are purchasing an existing business, have a due diligence search done to rule out any debt/outstanding accounts that are owed, and if possible, spend time in the newsagency to talk to customers, observe the foot traffic and sales.

NLNA SERVICES IN-STORE 

Rodney & Marisa have the in-store TV advertising NLNA products. They have found that Ladbrokes and parcel service advertising has generated customer inquiries/purchases.