Sir; Although I converted to a convenience store some 18 months ago, I still have the newsagent’s blood. However, a few things have happened to now question my deep rooted “beliefs”.
On a recent trip to the local Asda I was amazed to see the amount of news returns they were sending back when my newspapers have been cut to the bone and I have been selling out by noon. This Boxing Day and New Year we only opened for collection and did not deliver. Oh, what joy! Stroll up to the shop at some sensible hour, undo a few bundles of paper, place on the shelf, make a cup of coffee and take the money no sorting of papers, no being on edge in case some boys don’t turn up, no phone calls saying this is missing or that’s creased.
Quite frankly, I can no longer see any benefit to news delivery the margins we get for all the hassle and problems, the money we have to spend on computers to control the news system, simply don’t justify it. My turnover in the last 12 months has more than doubled, the news has remained the same, despite having prominence in our store. Once I have repaid my bank loan I am seriously going to consider stopping all news deliveries because I fail to see that it will have any detrimental effect on our business and it will certainly be a much easier business to run with a lot less problems and running about.
I would like to hear other people’s opinions on this subject, as I see no long- term future in news deliveries, the way the publishers/wholesalers have treated the newsagents and systematically driven them out of business. I must now close this letter as I have just had a phone call from a lady who has come out of hospital and wants her favourite paper. Darn it, I have run out again! Never mind. Asda will have plenty. I’ll nip down there and get her one.
Spar retailer Stoke on Trent