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Industry news

Magazines and newspapers

POS SOFTWARE

Two interesting reports are now available for retailers interested in print. The Magazine where the key findings here are that overall on Year on Year figures (YOY) printed magazines are about 8% down in readership, they are not releasing sales here, and digital readership is not just a touch bigger than print and Newspaper where print is listed as being about 15% down, and today digital readership is almost three (3) times bigger then print.  

 

 

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Newspaper Carrier Day

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For those that sell newspapers, some history, once they printed newspapers, they discovered that they needed a runner to deliver it, so the paperboy was invented. For hundreds of years boys like this guy pictured in 1961, got up early to sell newspapers on the street and deliver them to people houses. 

To honour these boys and some females, although they tended to be older, today we have #NewspaperCarrierDay 

PS For those like me, that used to be paperboys, your in good company both Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King Jr were paperboys too.

 

 

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Lottoland

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This surprised me as its been a while, is that many in the lotto industry have not been following the news about Lottoland.

The matter went to the  NSW Supreme Court, and Lottoland successfully overturned a government ruling that threatened to end its business in Australia by declaring its gambling products illegal.

Lottoland remains in Australia.

I do believe that several people have much explaining to do with their claims they made to lotto franchisees about precisely what they would and did accomplish. Maybe that is why no-one is saying anything about it to them?

My view has not changed.

Lotto franchisers missed a golden chance to get something while the politicians, supposedly with their interests in mind last year, were talking of their concern for their small businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Franchise expo yesterday

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Franchise expo Melbourne 2017

I go every year to the franchise expo

I find it useful as I meet people, get ideas and see what is out there. This year I saw it was bigger than ever. Looking around, you always see something that seems interesting; you also often get a good idea of where the market thinks it is going. 

If there was any theme at the show, it is about having a theme product. A product that it has that stands out.Once you have that you can build on it.

I have always been dubious on franchises. What you are doing is introducing a new level. The problem here is that few SMB businesses have the margins to afford an extra level. Also if you want to be your own boss, why give yourself another level? Still, I have seen many do well in a franchise. Again, I had a chuckle when I saw at the show many stalls of lawyers, far too often franchisees need their services. The small business minister at the expo spoke a lot about this in her talk. You may want to check out this facebook group that I am a member of there are some excellent write-ups there.

Still franchises are growing, just about everything now is being offered on a franchise model, and this expo showed that they are growing bigger every year. 

Franchise expo Melbourne 2017

 

One point I have made in the past, and I make it again. Many of these people going to the show are the sort of people that would be interested in buying many businesses in our market space. Many there have the money, ambition, will and are looking. So many in our market space missed here a golden opportunity to sell their industry.

 

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Afterpaytouch patch error update

POS SOFTWARE

They have released information on how to fix the problems caused by this month’s Microsoft security update.

I recommend that if you do this that you make sure the person doing it is very knowledgable on all computers that run the afterpaytouch software. It is much better to do these things on site. It has to be done on all machines running their software.  

The information on how to do it will be found here and a PDF version is available here.

If you have any queries, Afterpaytouch have a hotline service here 

Afterpay Touch Group

Phone: 1800 286 824

 

 

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Signage when its a problem

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A person owns a chicken shop. When he comes to work on Friday morning, he finds this big sign from KFC plastered on the side of his store. Pointing to a KFC store 800 metres up the road. 

He thought this went too far, as clearly from the reaction of people on twitter here so did most people.

It is not a new problem. I had a client that had a family general store and a massive quite sexual explicit sign went up, and they did not like it at all, The problem is that many people have leases on the shop but not on the signage. To the landlords, the signage is often worth more then the shop and this signage are usually operated by an advertising company that has signs everywhere. As such, what goes up on these signs is often something that the people nearby do not approve of although generally there is little they can do, although I have heard of people going out with a can of paint at night to fix the problem.

Although this is being portrayed as a small businessman vs large company, which it is, the same problem I have seen happening with large corporations. In this case, the problem was fixed quickly as the sign was removed promptly. You can read more here.

It does show a problem that if you are taking a lease on a property that you do need to consider, the signage and who has control over it.

I had a client that was not allowed to put a sign up advertising his cafe as it was felt that it would intrude on the commercial environment in the office block that the landlord was trying to create. They argued that without such a sign, how can their cafe exist? They lost the argument and soon moved out.

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Future of resturants

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This report from the US is fascinating. 

In 2015, Americans spent more money at restaurants than at the grocery shop. Forty percent of all new leases in Manhattan this year, more than clothing stores, banks, and health clubs combined, according to data from the real-estate company Cushman & Wakefield are moving into restaurants.

Based on the current trend in 2020, more than half of restaurant spending is projected to be “off-premise”—not inside a restaurant but in deliveries, drive-throughs, and takeaway meals which will be over  80 percent of the industry’s growth in the next five years.

It so the grocery shop may soon go another example of how delivery is becoming much more important.

 

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Yesterday EFTPOS outage

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Signs like this went up yesterday, as ATMs and EFTPOS machines on Thursday afternoon, went down. Our call centre like so many others took a hammering. There was little we could do. It appears that the big problem was in the debit card transactions if it had been credit, it would not have been that bad as almost everyone with credit has a debit account too. The only workaround that sometimes worked was to use the card manually.

Today a Telstra spokesperson said all services had been fully restored and apologised for the incident. In the process, it is estimated that the cost of this blackout by the National Retail Association, will be over 100 million dollars. The bigger retailers will be less affected then the SMB as they have websites where people could that evening buy later, many SMB do not have such a website. Anyway I am sure this is a gross underestimation what about non-retailers like us with our extra costs? 

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Uber VISA

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I am wondering how these new ranges of VISA cards which I expect will be open to Australians soon will go?  Here is one such card.

Uber VISA

 

As it is only available to residents of the United States, so you will not see many of them right now.

One problem with the current VISA/Mastercard point system is they basically work on frequent flyer points which to a significant percentage is of minor interest as you need to buy a lot over a long time to get a reward. These cards most compelling feature is often the discounts of the services on offer; for example, this card offers a 4 percent rewards rate on dining out. Now if that is Ubereats and its restaurants that could be huge for many.  I know of millenniums that use Ubereats almost every night. Another plus for these millenniums is with these cards they can get 2% back on such products like Amazon, Best Buy, Netflix, Apple Music, etc.

The problem from physical merchants is they can in Australia only charge fees based on VISA and Mastercard as a group. Not that it matters as there is no way of knowing in advance that it is a premium card often we do even have a card, just a mobile and all we get back electronically is very general details, e.g. VISA or MasterCard. What is going to happen is that the rate on regular cards is going to go up as these premium cards rate goes up. Then these fees will go up for everyone. This is going to put pressure on merchants.

This problem needs to be addressed soon as already. I hear that Facebook announced that it is going to soon really push these cards. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Toys ‘R’ Us returns to Australia

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Toys R Us

Almost a year ago, Toys ‘R’ Us Australia went into voluntary administration after its parent company collapsed into the US. Now an Australian company Hobby Warehouse has the license to market under the Toys ‘R’ Us brand which you read about here. The toy market in Australia is just too big to ignore. 

The marketing model they have adopted is the Omnichannel retailing with a combination of a few physical stores and the bulk being online shops, which is a change from their existing model of only being on online.  

This move confirms to us that a modern retailer needs both an online and physical presence and its not hard for our POS software to be activated to do that, and it handles the toy industry well.

 

 

 

 

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