VANA MEMBER PROFILE – TRARALGON NEWSAGENCY & LOTTO
Address: 51-53 Franklin Street, Traralgon, VIC, 3844
Store Owners: Gary and Cheryl Garth
Years as a Newsagent: 6 years
Products Sold: Tatts, giftware, bookstore, greeting cards and gift bags, ladies clothing, ladies shoes, magazines and puzzles, stationery, memorabilia, tin signs, chocolates, confectionary, Darrell Lea, soft toys and newspapers.
At the beginning of 2020, Cheryl and Gary decided to move & reduce their magazine area by half from prime front-of-house position to the back of the store, whilst still keeping core titles. With this large extra space created, Cheryl and Gary then introduced womens shoes & clothing. This has had a significant increase to their overall shop sales & gross profit margins along with introducing new customers to their store. They have also added in new giftware & chocolate lines which complements the rest of the store.
In 2020, Cheryl and Gary launched separate websites for Traralgon Newsagency and Lotto and their bookstore Traralgon books
They continually use social media for all sections of their business, ie Tattslotto, Books, and general gifting, shoes & clothing. They have also done a number of TV adverts, promoting their products.
In order to adapt to COVID-19, they aimed to be a one-stop shop as most of the shops in the street were closed for a period of time. They offered a delivery service to customers which encouraged the elderly to stay home & stay safe.The lockdown, whilst difficult, also drove new customers into their store, making the introduction of shoes & clothing the perfect timing. It has been an exceptional move for the business and certainly helped Cheryl and Gary through 2020.
They received very positive feedback from customers during COVID-19 when they installed Perspex screening to their counters to help protect staff & customers.
Cheryl and Gary regularly donate to local sporting clubs, schools & kinders and a local appeal for the Royal Children’s Hospital. They run colouring competitions for junior schools where the children have a chance to win books & then they also donate books to the school.
Cheryl and Gary lobbied the Council for a few short-term parking bays outside their shop and the bays have now been reduced from 2 hours down to ½ hour. This not only helps the elderly but time poor customers.
GARY & CHERYL’S ADVICE
To be a viable Newsagent these days it would advantageous to have a Tatts in store.
- Don’t be afraid to step outside the traditional newsagent box & try new product lines especially higher-margin products.
- Be prepared to make the tough decisions from time to time as what worked 20 years ago may not work now.
- Use your floorspace to enhance your higher-margin product lines.
- Ensure staff are all customer-focused and are welcoming with a smile.
- The Newsagency industry has enormous potential for business owners who are prepared to work hard and prepared to initiate continuous improvement programs within.
VANA would also like to congratulate Cheryl on her nomination for VANA’s Industry Business Woman of the Year 2020-2021. Good luck to all award nominees!
Register below for the Gala Industry Awards Night on 1st May!