Supermarkets vs. newsagents for Father’s Day cards

Of course I am going to say local Aussie newsagents offer the best range of Father’s Day cards, I own newsagency businesses and have been part of this ever-evolving local retail channel for many years.

I am biased.

But I’ll try and look at it objectively.

Here’s the Father’s Day card range in one of my shops.

It’s broad in terms of designs and in terms of captions covered, and there is the biggest difference compared to supermarkets – the captions covered.

I get that card companies like to have supermarkets in their channel mix – but not all card companies do. Supermarkets play a role in supporting engagement by Aussies with greeting cards. But card lovers, those folks who want range and who love good cards, they’ll shop at their local newsagency because there they will see range, get personal service, have choice and, most likely, have access to a loyalty offer that is actually valuable for them.

I have been to 8 local Coles and Woolworths supermarkets over the last few days and each had two stands from the one company – one major had one brand and the other major had another brand. Their caption range was limited. The stand looked messy. I suspect it is only tidied when the paid merchandise diner visits weekly or, maybe, twice a week.

In local newsagencies the cards are tidied daily, with the stands kept shopper friendly. So, as well as range, there is the shopper experience. This is where local newsagencies tend to excel. Here’s the display in one of my other newsagencies:

Yes, supermarkets offer volume, but they do not offer the personal engagement that is key to sustained success with greeting cards.

It’s our job as newsagents to get it right with cards because sales continue to e good, growing for plenty of us, and the margin is excellent. It is our job to keen the displays tidy, organised, to work with suppliers on range, to ensure we have a broad range of captions, to ensure that we are pitching cards in multiple locations in the shop – to engage with the impulse as well as destination shopper.

The Father’s Day season brings in more traffic ,which is good. Our job is to provide an experience that encourages them back before the next major season. We can do this, supermarkets tend to not.

I am approaching the rest of 2022 as a card growth opportunity. We have a number of changes afoot in one of my shops, including leveraging an opportunity I’ve not seen done in a newsagency before. If it works, I’ll be thrilled. If it does not work, hopefully I will learn something from it. At the core of what we are doing is a desire to expand the range of card shoppers we attract, and that starts with building the ball park, like in Field of Dreams. yes, I really do believe in if you build it, they will come.

Okay, it’s cliche and twee, but embedded in the phrase is a goal and hope and they are motivators for and local small business retailer. Having a goal is key.

More soon …

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