Be surprised at what you can sell in newsagencies

Chris Woodman from Peterborough Newsagency in SA said experience has shown they can sell almost anything from the newsagency window;

Our store has a frontage of approximately 18 metres, with most of it consisting of window space that we use for displaying our stock. Our staff are excellent at producing eye catching displays. We are constantly amazed at what we sell as a result of putting them (the stock not the staff) in the window.  Over the last five years we have diversified into a wide range of products. Last Christmas we got in a range of Electric Guitars/Amp kits. As quick as we were doing the display we were selling them. I initially got in 6 thinking that it would take a while to sell them but they were all sold within a few days.  This year I had someone ask about telescopes so I got in the model that they were after plus a few extras. They ranged in price from $157 to $260 and once again they were placed in one of our windows as a display and within a week we had sold them with orders for more. Recently, I got in a couple of battery operated ride on cars aimed at the 3-5 year old market. They retailed for $90 and I thought that it would take a while for them to sell. Wrong again. Within 2 days we had sold them and I had orders for 4 more.

The list of things that we have sold out of our windows includes item such as video cameras, CB and household radios, TVs, heaters, Jaycar products, giftware, fluffy animals, Toys and of course the regular newsagency lines such as magazines. The dearest product that we have sold as a result of our window display was a 50” TV at $995.

I do realise that not every store is the same as ours in terms of size and window space. We are situated in a small community that has been classified by the Government has having a relatively low average income per household, and a relatively high flow of tourist traffic. Our sales to tourists varies between 15 to 20% depending on the time of the year and the local community is on the whole a pretty loyal one.

Over the years we have sold a vast range of products via our windows and it is our aim to make sure the displays don’t go stale.  In fact it has been interesting to note that simply by moving stock from one window to another is enough to generate interest to sell.  We’ve lost count the number of times our customers have mentioned that they didn’t know we had a particular product until they saw it in the window, when in fact it had been in another window for ages.

On countless occasions we have had tourists come into the shop first thing in the morning looking to buy a product that they had seen in the window whilst walking the street the previous night. We’ve also received phone calls from people who had been travelling through the town and had seen something in the window but because we had been closed had rung to see if we could either hold it for them or forward it on.

I’ve read on numerous occasions that to cut down on electricity usage and to reduce our energy bill we should turn off our window lights at night. I’m of the opinion that by having our lights on at night we are potentially generating sales by highlighting products to people who may be walking past.  We leave the lights on in our windows at night for two reasons. One is that it helps people to see what is in our windows and of course it follows that we may sell something and two because it provides light for the security cameras that we have set up at the front of the store.

It has got to the stage that I’m not surprised at what we can sell because of what we have sold.



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