Newsagents are so much more than just stockists of cards and newspapers. Here’s a feel-good story sent through to us by Matt from newsXpress The Gap, which has reaffirmed our belief that the local newsagent in an irreplaceable part of every local community.
Late last year, on Melbourne Cup day, I walked past one of our older customers (Mrs Staunton, who we deliver to 7 days a week) in the shopping centre. She was looking disorientated so I asked if I could help. She explained that her carer, with whom she who she had come to the centre, could not be found.
I sat her in our store and went to look for the carer. From talking to other retailers, I gathered the carer had been looking for her but couldn’t find her and had left (must have had an important date at the track!). I explained the situation to Mrs Staunton and asked if I could call someone who could take her home.
She looked at me in the eyes, grabbed my arm as only a frail person could and explained that her daughter had moved away and all her friends were now dead. Basically I was now the only person she knew in the suburb (Rob and I have owned the business since 1999).
So given my new responsibility and importance I lead her to my truck and dropped her home, to find her shopping at the back door, where the carer had dumped it while on the run. Too easy I thought, as she looked for the key.
The next problem was that she couldn’t find the key to get in. So after trying every window and finding out the place locked like a jail, I said I would go back to the shop (I’d left my mobile at the store) call a locksmith. I asked her to stay put on the back porch while I organised it. I called a locksmith at 2pm on Melbourne cup day, and when I explained the situation and they laughed and said they’ll get someone out as soon after ‘the race that stops the nation’ as they could.
I then went back out to see Mrs Staunton and give her an update, to find her inside the house—she said she found the key in her bag. “That’s great!” I told her. Just as I was leaving to call off the locksmith appointment the locksmith turns up. I had to explain that she’s doesn’t require the locksmith’s assistance after all, and he should get back to the race.
Anyway, the local newsagent is much more than just a local retailer—we are the fabric of the community and in some cases the only man left standing!
Thank you so much for sharing this story with us, Matt!
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