The Victorian Association for Newsagents.

VANA MEMBER PROFILE -Sorrento News And Books

Sorrento News & Books

66 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento, VIC 3943

Store Owners:               
Gerard & Kellie Attwood

Years as a newsagent: 25 

Products Sold: 
Sorrento News & Books are largely a traditional Newsagency, but they have always had a large range of books, toys and more recently, gifts. 

The key growth areas have been Cards,Toys, Games,Sports Gear, Gifts, Art, Books.

Nstock, BlueShyft and Ladbrokes have also been essential for the growth of the business.
“It should be noted that whilst some products from suppliers can certainly be hit & miss, you’ll be more likely to hear all about the hits!” said Gerard.

Gerard also said a really important aspect of the business has been the monthly routine of checking off supplier statements. “One of the best examples is reconciling the Gotch statements using our software (POS Solutions), we can do this in minutes as every invoice and return is already in the system.”

Gerard and Kellie Attwood have been Newsagents for 25 years, owning the Sorrento Newsagency for 20 years. Their business certainly ‘runs in their blood’ as they are second generation Newsagents and are past Australian & Victorian Newsagents of the Year.

Sorrento is a sea-side town, on the pointy end of the Mornington Peninsula, and is widely regarded as the playground for Melbourne’s rich and famous.

Around 8 years ago, Gerard and Kellie added the local Post Office to their business.

Actions taken during COVID-19:

Customers: The business quickly adopted all new ‘Covid measures’ as they were announced. Whilst first and foremost assisting in the effort to curtail the virus, we also demonstrated that we were doing our best to keep our customers safe by adhering to the latest advice. To this end, VANA’s advice has been vital in keeping us up to date.

Whilst it has been a really demanding time to be a retailer, with all the compliance required, we are very grateful that our local community has really embraced our services and allowed us to not only continue to trade but to trade on very strongly.

Instagram:  Sorrento News & Books set up a new Instagram page (@Sorrentonews). Whilst Gerard was pretty skeptical about its value to begin with, he has been pleasantly surprised to learn customers have purchased products from the store as a direct result of their Instagram page.

Newspapers: On the very week that COVID-19 really began in earnest – Sorrento News & Books sold off their newspaper territory contracts!  Gerard said “whilst it was generating a reasonable return for us and didn’t require operational management effort, it has been a great weight off our shoulders.”

Magazines: Sorrento News & Books also decided to again reduce their magazine display, from 32 metres five years ago, to 16 metres three years ago and now down to 8 metres.  This space will be converted to toys & gifts.