The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

Categorynewsagent software

Newsagents switching to $185 a month newsagency software rental.


The newsagency software rental option launched by Tower Systems in late 2019 is now the preferred newsagency software access approach in the channel.

Under this model, the capital cost is spread over the years of the use of the software rather than through a bulk up-front cost.

There is no credit check and no long-term contract. Newsagents who sell their business or close can stop paying and that ends the licence. This is one aspect of what newsagents like.

The other aspect newsagents like is that of being part of a large community of newsagents. With more than 1,700 newsagents using this software it is, based on user numbers, the industry standard. Working together, Tower newsagents have been instrumental in setting standards all newsagents benefit from today.

The latest version of the Tower newsagency software was released in the first week of July 2021. This delivered access to new look and feel benefits as well as access to better supplier reporting tools for newsagency specific suppliers. This is key to more useful category and segment level performance reporting.

Included in the $185.00 (inc. GST) a month rental fee of the Tower Systems newsagency software is:

  • Software access.
  • Run in the cloud or on a desktop or tablet computer.
  • Unlimited licences – on an many computers as you want.
  • Help desk access for customer services.
  • Software updates as released.
  • XchangeIT access for magazine invoices.
  • Direct link to Shopify for online selling.
  • Direct link to Xero for easy accounting.

Working with community groups.

Using this software, newsagents are able to work with local schools and community groups to offer fund raising opportunities that benefits people in those communities as well as the groups themselves. The approach in the software has been found to be a useful way for newsagents to address the vexed issue of community groups asking for donations.

Mitigating employee and customer theft.

The Tower newsagency software and the team at Tower have been instrumental in newsagents dealing with theft in their business. Early identification of theft is possible with the software thanks to hidden, owner accessible only, tools. These tools have been key in helping police and prosecutors deal with people who have stolen from newsagencies.

In one newsagency, $35,000 worth of theft was uncovered and recovered for the business thanks to the Theft Check service offered by Tower Systems. In another newsagency, long-term systematic theft by a manager helped remote owners confront theft that had cost the business several hundred thousand dollars.

In addition to software tools, Tower Systems offers newsagents theft mitigation advice, including a suggested Theft Policy for a business, which has been found to be key in reducing the opportunity for theft in a business.

Software rental is the future.

These facilities, theft mitigation, newsagency supplier connectivity and more are core to the $185.00 a month newsagency software rental from Tower Systems.

The rental cost is an immediately deductible expense. There is no credit check. It is easy to setup. Many newsagents have embraced it already this year.

You can find out more at

The team at Tower Systems is grateful to newsagents for their love of our newsagency software


We are grateful to serve close to 1,800 newsagency businesses with our newsagency software, double all other software companies combined.

The newsagency software we offer today is technically and visually fresh thanks to our investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in leading-edge engineering to deliver to our current version software.

Our Australian made and Australian supported newsagency software is backed with personal experience.

Here are 5 reasons to consider our Tower Systems newsagency software …

  1. Being current matters. We meet connectivity standards including Indue welfare card, digital receipts, Epay, TitlePage, theLott, XchangeIT, Tyro, the banks, Newspower catalogues, GNS, Xero and more. Save time, cut mistakes and cultivate better business data.
  2. You can bank on loyalty. Our fresh and successful approach to loyalty can help you drive a deeper basket and bring people back sooner.
  3. Safe decisions make for a better P&L. While following your gut can see you catch wins, safe decisions, those based on the data, are bankable. From data feeds from suppliers through your POS to accounting software, we help you nurture data for the safe decisions.
  4. Not every shopper will walk past your door. A seamless connection between your software and a website can help you sell to people you will never meet. We develop websites for newsagents. Check out,, and
  5. You are a key asset. You and the people in your business are a differentiator to big business competitors. Our software helps you sell you in smart and engaging ways.

We also do the quarterly newsagency sales benchmark study and have done for 18 years. This is a valuable benchmark helps you see the future.

The Tower Systems newsagency software costs a few dollars a day. For on as many computers as you need in the business. There is no extra charge for extra computers.

There is no extra charge on top of this for support or updates. It’s all included.

How can we do this? We serve more newsagents than all other software companies combined. We leverage our size to save you money.

One-off installation, training and setup advice is priced as an up-front services package, delivering:

  • The latest newsagency specific software installed on your computers.
  • Remote, safe, installation by a newsagency business expert.
  • Personal, one-on-one training.
  • Data conversion, converting as much data as we can access.
  • 24/7 software support. Nothing extra to pay.
  • Software updates – released regularly. Nothing extra to pay.
  • Unlimited over the phone follow-up one-on-one training.
  • Access to an awesome online knowledge base with articles & advice.
  • Access to a private Facebook page where you can discuss any topic.

Call to find out more: or 1300 662 957

We are grateful for the almost 1,800 newsagency businesses that have installed our software. Their commitment and encouragement encourage us every day.

Online workshop for newsagents tomorrow @ 2pm


Tomorrow, at 2pm, we are hosting a free workshop for any newsagent interested in taking their newsagency business online.

This, itself, will be an online session, which you can access from anywhere with this link:

Meeting ID: 910 3139 0280 Passcode: 323615

We won’t be trying to sell you anything in the session. Rather, we will share experience insights, lay out the steps involved, discuss online platform options and answer all questions.

Being online is critical to every retail business. We saw that last year and already see value from that this year. Business experts, accountants, mentors … everyone agree that being online is critical.

The hope we have for this session is that it offers a useful learning opportunity for newsagents, to encourage them to get online and to lay out several pathways through which they can achieve this.

And, if the 2pm timing does not work, let me know and we will do my best to schedule another session at a time that suits.

Shopping for Back to School needs? Shop your local newsagency


Your local Aussie newsagency can serve your Back to School stationery and textbook needs. We are proud to say that our POS software company serves many of these local newsagency businesses, we help them offer quality Back to School products at competitive prices and in a way that supports local school and community groups.

Back to School is a competitive space in Australia. The local Aussie newsagency is often calls upon by school and community groups for support. The best way to help them support community group and school group fund raising is to shop for Back to School from these local newsagency businesses.

Too often we see Back to School purchases going to companies outside Australia and national retailers who chase on price and often neglect the all important product quality.

Your local newsagency delivers quality goods since they are local and easily contacted is the quality of a product does not stack up. Big businesses tend to not have this local care. This local accessibility is another reason to shop for back to School locally.

For Back to School stationery needs, start at your local newsagency. Supporting them helps them support your local school community. You see that every day through local newsagent support for school students, school groups. Every day newsagents are asked for support and donations for local community groups, including school groups. They can only do this if there is robust local support for their businesses.

Please don’t be duped by the truckloads of cash poured into advertising by competitors chasing your back to school spend. They have the cash to do this, to make it look like they have good products and good prices. Often, when they say they will price match, they don’t sell the same brands, often selling cheap imported products only available through them.

Your local newsagent is a perfect place to shop for back to school for quality, service and community connection.

Tower Systems is proud to support 1,750+ local Australian newsagency businesses with newsagency software that helps them deliver a good Back to School experience and through which they can support local community and school group fundraising.

For Back to School 2021, please shop local, shop with the locally owned and run business that supports the local community.

Newsagents benefit from Epay access in newsagency POS software


Tower Systems released Epay access from within its newsagency software earlier this year. It’s been a terrific success with newsagents loving the easy and direct access to wonderful voucher products from Epay.

Today, Tower Systems released a product update to its Epay integration, expanding the products available to newsagents to sell, offering them more revenue opportunities in their businesses.

This latest update is another step in the on-going enhancement of the solution, to serve the expanding needs of retailers, including local Aussie newsagents.

Newsagency retail sales benchmark study results


Tower Systems has completed another in its series of newsagency retail sales benchmark studies. We have been doing these quarterly for more than 15 years, serving newsagents, their suppliers and others.

We gather the data, collate it, analyse it and share the results widely, in pursuit of a stronger and healthier newsagency channel.

It is a free process for all involved, transparent, too.

This study, like all we have undertaken, reveals trends, from which we and newsagents can learn. Here it is…

The results of the June 2020 quarter newsagency retail sales benchmark show the extent to which COVID-19 is impacting businesses.

There are winners and losers.

  • The winners are regional and high street retailers.
  • The losers are shipping centre based retailers.

Looking at comprehensive retail sales data from 137 newsagencies for April – June 2020 compared to April – June 2019, the results underscore the value of the retail newsagency channel to local communities. This is a same-store comparison, making the results meaningful. FYI, I removed stores that were closed for any time in the reporting periods.

Data include a mix of rooftops from several brands. The benchmark includes data from businesses using the Tower newsagency software and several who are not.

Given the extraordinary gap in performance, I share the results separately, because reporting them as one dataset does not make sense.

Shopping centre based retail newsagencies.

  • Transaction count change: down 42%.
  • Revenue change: down 36%.
  • Basket size change: up 11%.
  • Newspaper unit sales: down 15%.
  • Magazine unit sales: down 21%.
  • Cards revenue: down 27%.
  • Stationery revenue:  down 11%.
  • Gift revenue: down 45%.
  • Toy revenue: down 42%.
  • Puzzle revenue: up 5%. A quarter of reporting businesses sell puzzles.
  • Instant lottery revenue: up 9%. Half reporting businesses have lotteries.
  • Lottery revenue:  down 5%.

A note about shopping centre data. The dataset in small, just under 10% of respondents. However, the gap between respondents is small.

High street newsagencies.

  • Transaction count change: down 5%.
  • Revenue change: up 27%.
  • Basket size change: up 20%.
  • Newspaper unit sales: down 5%. early din, there was a jump, which has disappeared.
  • Magazine unit sales: up 5%.
  • Cards revenue: up 7%. There are pockets of success – female birthday and thank you cards, in particular.
  • Stationery revenue:  up 13%. Homeschooling and home office, of course.
  • Gift revenue: up 25%. Some categories are down while others, like nesting products, are in triple-digit growth.
  • Toy revenue: up 13%.
  • Puzzle revenue: up 150%. Less than half reporting businesses sell puzzles.
  • Instant lottery revenue: up 16%. Just over half reporting businesses have lotteries.
  • Lottery revenue:  up 4%.

A note about this high street data: it includes regional and rural as well as suburban high street. The performance of regional and rural is considerably better than suburban high street for the most part. How much, you ask? Around 33% better is my response.


Plenty of regional and high street newsagents are embarrassed to be reporting such good numbers. Their growth while other businesses nearby are struggling makes them not want to be too open about their success. Even within the newsagency channel there are those in growth who do not want to talk about it with newsagents who are way down.

A moving feast.

Looking at early July data, I’d note that it would be wrong to lock the April – June  results into a view for the long term. We are certainly in a period of significant change. The next quarter results could be different again.

What have we learned from the last 3 and 6 months?

  • Shopping local has been embraced.
  • The high street feels safer than a shopping mall.
  • Newsagencies are trusted and appreciated businesses.
  • Our channel is essential.
  • A newsagency is a good business to own overall.

While we have learned more, this list is my key points.

Finally, we are grateful to all newsagents who shared their data for inclusion in this study.

Australian newsagents are the core of local Aussie towns through COVID-19


Aussie newsagents have been critical in local towns and cities through COVID-19. While plenty of businesses have closed or gone into hibernation, the local newsagency, or newsagents as many call them, has been open, trading and supporting the local community.

The thing is, the newsagents is not what it used to be. News has taken a back seat in these evolving retail businesses as other products have come to the fore, making the local newsagents more valuable and useful to people in local communities, especially regional communities.

Sure, newspapers and magazines still play a role and they are the news part of the name, the reality is that in terms of overall business contribution and value, they lie outside of news, our side of that part of the newsagents name.

Many newsagency businesses have evolved deeply, into gifts, homewares, home office solutions, games, toys, jigsaws, nesting products, comfort products, art supplies and more. The local newsagency is less about the news and the agency and more about helping people enjoy themselves, helping them relax, helping them create and helping them find their voice.

The newsagents of yesterday is the place of happiness, joy and communication today.

Whether it is a greeting card, journal, art supplies, a candle, a thro rug, a scarf or local Aussie essential oils, a newsagency is a fresh and innovative business delivering local town access to a diverse range of products in service of local community needs.

Tower Systems is proud to serve more than 1,700 newsagents with its newsagency software, software used by more newsagents than all other software companies combined. We take that leadership role seriously and respectfully, helping newsagents to reach the potential of their local area opportunities.

Whether it is in-store or online, our newsagency POS software is helping newsagents to transact where there need to and when they need to, accurately, efficiently. It is also helping them to find new shoppers as new shoppers are the lifeblood of any business. Indeed, we are grateful to smart newsagents for walking this path of innovation and opportunity with us.

The 2020 of corona is challenging. For newsagents it has been a year of opportunity and it is a thrill to see so many step up to that opportunity in service of their local communities.

Helping Aussie newsagents embrace the covid pivot


The covid pivot is no more real that what we are seeing in Aussie newsagency businesses this year as they embrace change and adjust their businesses to attract new shoppers.

What is the covid pivot you say? It is that move by a business into new products, new services or onto a new platform through which they seek to attract shoppers who would otherwise not shop with the business. That is why it is a pivot. the covid part is that it provides the need, encouragement and / or cover for the change.

The covid pivot moves we are seeing newsagents make include:

  • Moving online with POS software connected Shopify websites. We have seen newsagents open up online baby shops, food service businesses, homewares businesses, made in Australia offers, fashion, services, high end collectibles and more.
  • Bringing in new product categories. This being done in-store to turn the business s90 degrees and more in pursuit of shoppers who might otherwise not have shopped the shop.
  • Offering new services. We have seen newsagents move into screen printing, office services, hot dusking and more as they serve the needs of more people working locally.
  • Location flexibility. We have seen newsagents take their businesses on the road, to shoppers who cannot get out safely because of the corona. By selling from the car or van, safely, distanced, but with full POS software access for accurate transacting.
  • Doing the Marie Kondo. Cutting back, removing products and services that do not sign joy. these moves are a pinot, too, as the business de-clutters, freeing space and capital for other operations and opportunities.
  • Re-casting. This piece of the covid pivot is the business re-positioning what it sells and how it sells. Taking singles and bundling. Reimagining loyalty. And similar moves to take what you have and freshen it so it is noticed by more people.

These are some of the examples we have seen of newsagents engaging in the covid pivot opportunities. Covid pivot is a term we started using months ago to describe this action, this movement of adjustment in a business to seek opportunities through with to broaden the appeal of the business.

More newsagents are embracing the covid pivot to change their businesses and to set them for an even brighter future outside of corona. Opportunities are endless.

We are grateful to the 1,700+ newsagents in our user community who embrace our software and services. Thank you for your business and thank you for being with us on this crazy 2020 journey.

Newsagents accessing Epay through Tower Systems POS software


Tower Systems has released updated newsagency POS software for newsagents with Epay integrated, delivering direct newsagency sales counter access to Epay products and services.

This integration is approved by Epay through their worldwide operation. It is the result of several months work following exacting integration standards set by Epay.

From within the POS, at any point in a transaction, newsagents can vend Epay voucher product including phone recharge and more. There is an initial set of Epay voucher products in the first release with Epay set to release more as they develop more supplier relationships.

Newsagents are grateful to Epay for their embrace of newsagency POS software to provide an alternative to the POS software integrated Touch Networks IT vending platform, which is being decommissioned by Afterpay Touch.

The Tower Systems Epay POS software integration also allows for handling refunds. This, too, follows the required Epay standards.

To help newsagents be ready, Tower Systems has engaged in daily email communications with its 1,700+ newsagent customers. It haas also sent print newsletters as well as fielding many calls and other contacts from its broad customer base. The company’s goal has been to ensure that newsagents are fully informed and prepared for the switching off of Touch and the turning on of Epay in many businesses that have not been running Epay.

In addition to releasing new software, Tower Systems has published peer-reviewed advice through three comprehensive knowledge base articles on setting up and using Epay integrated with the Tower POS software. The company has also produced a training video to help newsagents make the most of the Epay opportunity in their retail businesses. Also, Tower is providing personal support and training for any customer who asks for help with the new Epay integration.

Not all newsagency software platforms have been approved for integration with Epay. Tower Systems is grateful for having been chosen and for the support of the Epay experts as we have brought the opportunity to life over the last few months.

2020 has been a challenge;lenging year for retailers. This new integration with Epay is a wonderful piece of good news, something to celebrate, something for which to be grateful.

Epay is live! The Tower Systems development and suppo9rt teams have once again delivered for small business Australian newsagents.

Bringing Epay to life for Australian newsagents through newsagency software


The 1,700+ newsagents using our newsagency software are set to benefit from a professional and direct integration between our newsagency software and Epay, the worldwide platform for phone recharge, ticketing and other e-vouche services.

We have delivered direct access to Epay in our Retailer 3 POS software, generationally advanced newsagency software designed for the newsagency of the future. This is newsagency POS software for 2021 and beyond. It is new, fresh, energetic and flexible.

We are thrilled to bring Epay to life for newsagents through our newsagency software.

Thanks to the Epay approved integration, our 1,700+ newsagency software retailers will be able to tap into a suite of products for which they do not have to carry inventory. They can leverage basket depth as well as new traffic. The opportunities are wonderful and we are thrilled to be in a position to deliver these for our customers.

We have gone about the Epay integration in a through and diligent way, fulfilling their standards and working with their tech people on this innovation for the partnership, and all in pursuit of serving Australian small business newsagents who want to continue to offer tolling, ticketing, voucher and recharge products and services from their businesses.

By delivering the Epay POS software integration in our Retailer 3 platform we have delivered a sweeter, faster, more technically advanced and more complete solution in service of newsagents having a brighter and more relevant business future. Can you feel how excited we are to be delivering this?! We hope so. This is a good day. Especially since we have delivered this advancement for newsagents at no cost to them. We are pleased to have been able to do this, to bring inn ovation to the local Aussie newsagency sales counter for no capital investment.

Newsagents who were using the Touch Network platform on the Ezipass platform for selling these voucher based products can rely on the Tower Systems newsagency software Epay integration to provide smart and easy access to these products from the POS screen, easily, quickly and without having to connect to third party software. This is a our integration to international standards.

Tower Systems is proud to serve Aussie newsagents, a channel that remains vital to local towns in providing access to essential products and services.

Join the largest community of newsagency software users in Australia.


There is no doubt there is strength in numbers. In a newsagency software sense, the strength of our 1,700+ Australian newsagency business community benefits from:

  • Reliability. We are here when you need support.
  • Up to date. Our customers vote on changes they want to the software. Enhancements are regular. Software value improves over time.
  • Business help. Beyond the software, we help uncover and reduce theft, as well as advice and support streamlining processes.
  • We own and operate newsagency businesses ourselves. We walk in your shoes every day and this makes a real difference.
  • We meet all industry and supplier standards in retail and home delivery.
  • Personal support. Beyond the software, we will help you in any way we can, to the best of our ability.

In addition to newsagency software, we also develop (in Australia) websites for Australian newsagents, helping plenty get online with awesome websites.

We are a well-resourced Australian POS software company serving Australian newsagents. This is good news for newsagents.

  1. Tower Systems will not leave the newsagency channel.
  2. We will fight for you. Beyond our software, we will help with supplier issues, business strategy and other challenges you confront.
  3. Our software continues to evolve. We release updates regularly. You choose when to load them. Each is thoroughly tested for you.
  4. We own newsagencies. Yes, we walk in your shoes.
  5. No locked-in support fee.
  6. Lower support costs. No mates’ rates for a select few.
  7. Fast support. Most calls are handled when you call.
  8. Transparent support. At any time, you can see how many help desk calls we are working on and how many we have closed that day.
  9. Support escalation. We have an escalation process should you be unhappy with a support call.
  10. Easy management access. The leadership team of Tower Systems is available to you. We take customer service seriously and personally.
  11. Updates when you choose. Updates are not forced on you.
  12. You are listened to. We offer the only transparent, user driven, software enhancement suggestion service.
  13. Free training. Long after you install our software you have access to free personal training to refresh knowledge or cover new facilities.
  14. More integrations. Our direct links to Xero, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce offer direct link options to help you grow.
  15. Business management insights. We can look at your business performance data and provide a personal analysis of what we see
  16. Owner access. Call Tower owner, Mark Fletcher, on 0418 321 338 or email

Awesome POS software loyalty tool helps local small business retailers differentiate from big businesses and online


Points are dead in retail loyalty rewards. They have dubious value. Everyone offers them. They serve the businesses more than the shoppers.

While our awesome specialty retail POS software offers points based loyalty, it is our other loyalty offer that retailers and shoppers love. It’s unique, based on real value, able to be setup for no cost and is easy to adjust as the business needs change.

Better still, this unique and game-changing approach to loyalty offers one-time or rare shoppers an opportunity to spend more in a visit, making that one-0time list more valuable to the retailer. It encourages greater spending. It shows the way.

Big businesses don’t copy this unique approach to loyalty because it does not work for their selfish business model. It is differentiating for indie retailers, especially local retailers who are competing with big businesses.

Tower systems pioneered this fresh approach to loyalty in 2013. We have tweaked the loyalty tool in pour POS software since, keeping it fresh and ensuring that it serves the needs of our retail partners.

In competing with online, this loyalty tool is an easy winner. It appreciates the shoppers in-store in a way that online cannot do. It encourages, respects and appreciates those in your shop today and that alone can be the trigger to get them even more engaged with your shop.

It is that simple and successful. We have hundreds of success stories with this tool.

Points are dead if you want your business to compete. Tower Systems offers tech built into our POS software and we back this with business training and advice on implementation. It is genuinely a game changer, a unique loyalty solution fort small business retailers.

Loyalty systems have been around in retail for decades. Too often, small business retailers copy big business, and fail.

A good loyalty system will get shoppers spending more, doling more than is usual, and doing this at little or no cost to a retail business.

A good loyalty system will be loved by shoppers.

A good loyalty system offers shoppers flexibility.

A good loyalty system has little or no management overhead.

A good loyalty system reveals insights about your business that are helpful, impactful and revealing.

A good loyalty system helps you grow your business, helps you make your business more valuable.

This is about Loyalty 2.0 – a fresh approach to shopper loyalty for small business retailers.

What we offer embedded in our Tower Systems POS software is an awesome solution, ready for use in any type of shop.

Australian newsagents prefer our POS software over any other


Recently, independently verified, Tower Systems serves more newsagents with newsagency POS software than any other POS software company.

While the newsagency channel has challenges, there is plenty of good news … growth stories, transformations, good wins and new owners.

This is a retail channel in the midst of extraordinary opportunistic transformation.

Switching your business to the industry standard Tower Systems newsagency software is not expensive. If you have current hardware, the cost can be as low as $2,400 a year thanks to interest free finance from us for 3 years.

11 more newsagents chose the Tower Systems software in the last 3 months. We are grateful for their support of our newsagency software. We serve more than 1,750 newsagency businesses.

We help newsagents evolve their businesses into new products, through awesome loyalty tools and online.

We offer low low EFTPOS rate. One newsagent is $200.00 a month better off while another, in regional Australia, is more than $250.00 a month better off.

We continue to own and operate newsagency businesses ourselves and have done since 1996. This helps us make better software for you.

  • Compliant with industry standards, using our software you can meet criteria for getting onto the no physical returns program with Ovato.
  • Electronic invoices are a breeze.
  • Selling online is easy and sell more regardless of your local population.
  • Offer buy now pay later with Humm, Zip Pay.
  • Our innovative front-end loyalty facilities help you differentiate your business, drive deeper baskets and bring shoppers back sooner.
  • Training long after you install is easy to access and free.

Our software can work with you as you evolve your product mix. Whether it is into hospitality, services, produce, repairs, online or more, our software has facilities that help make your business more relevant to today’s shopper.

Integrations can also help you cut operating costs, such as bookkeeping fees. We can help you eliminate double and triple handling. We link direct to Xero, for example.

Switching is not expensive. Included is …

  • The latest Tower Systems newsagency software.
  • On-site installation and training by a newsagency business expert.
  • Data conversion, converting as much data as we can access.
  • Software support for the first three years. Nothing extra to pay.
  • Software updates for the first three years. Nothing extra to pay.
  • Unlimited over the phone follow up training for the first three years.
  • Access to an awesome online knowledge base with articles & advice.
  • Access to weekly group live online training workshops.
  • Access to a private Facebook page where you can discuss any topic.

Tower Systems is grateful to the many newsagents in its community.

Newsagency sales benchmark study results


We are grateful to all the newsagents who shares their sales data for inclusion in this important benchmark study.

Growth opportunities on show in 2019 vs. 2018 full year newsagency sales benchmark study results.

Newsagency businesses in the benchmark study data pool focussed on new traffic generators fared well in 2019 compared to the performance of traditional newsagency businesses. 4 of the 5 traditional categories experienced year on year declines while all of the new product categories delivered growth.

Newsagencies focussed on change through new product categories are the future of the channel. New product categories usually offer a significantly better margin, better sell-through rate and better basket efficiency compared to traditional newsagency lines.

New product categories will evolve, too. What is strong today will be challenged by another category tomorrow. Change, substantial change is the new normal in retail.

This newsagency sales benchmark study represents a comparison of sales data from 161 newsagency businesses for the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. These businesses are representative: city and country, high street and mall, banner groups and independent. The only thing connecting the businesses is that they use the Tower newsagency software. Note: Each data point below is the average, mean, of all data for the data point.


  • Transaction count. Down 3.5%.
  • Sales revenue. Down 5%.
  • Basket depth. Down 3%.
  • Basket dollar value. Down 3%.


  • Newspapers. Over the counter unit sales. Down 10.5%.
  • Magazines. Over the counter unit sales. Down 12.5%.
  • Greeting cards. Revenue. Down 3.5%.
  • Stationery. Revenue. Down 9%.
  • Lotteries. Revenue. Up 23%.
  • Tobacco. Revenue. Down 19%.
  • Agency. Parcels, gift cards, betting account top-up. Down 4%.


  • Gifts. Revenue. Up 11%.
  • Toys. Revenue. Up 7%. Includes puzzles.
  • Plush. Revenue. Up 6%.
  • Collectibles. Revenue. Up 5%.
  • Craft. Revenue. Up 3%.
  • Coffee. Revenue. Up 17%.
  • Books. Revenue. Up 6%.
  • Calendars. Revenue. Up 6%.

Despite there being plenty of bad news at the department and category level, this latest study reveals plenty of good news. It encourages confidence around pursuing change, embracing new product categories and leveraging these to help redefine the focus of the business.

While the newsagency shingle remains for many businesses in our channel, movement away from what that shingle has stood for is key to the future.

Print media is a problem.
With margins slim – 25% for magazines and around 12% for papers for many – the impact of the continuing decline in sales is significant. The only to make papers and magazines work is to reduce costs associated switch carrying these products – retail space and labour. Changes here can encourage further decline. This is why more newsagents are wondering when they might quit print.

Unless there is a change to margin percentage and an improvement in magazine cover prices, I suspect more in newsagents will exit print, unfortunately.

The growth categories.
Looking at the product categories for which there was growth – gifts, toys, plush, collectibles, craft, coffee – less than half the businesses in the dataset offered more than two of these. Even with the easy category of gift, more than a 25% of those reporting do not offer gifts, which shocks me.

City vs. Country.
Regional and rural businesses continue to perform better. This is across the board. It has always been thus. I think this is due in part to a lower retail space cost, stronger local shopper support and less competition.

Upside opportunities.
Toys, crafts, coffee, gifts, books and plush offer upside, as has been the case for several years. The best success comes from dealing with suppliers who do not usually supply the newsagency channel. That said, what each of these category labels mean varies significantly between businesses.

The role of online.
While there has been growth in the contribution of online, in an average business it accounts for less than 4% of non lottery revenue. There are some achieving more than 10% but they are small in number. Too many newsagents and missing out on the online opportunity.

Is a newsagency a good investment? 
My answer to this question continues to be yes. There is traffic value remaining in core products and opportunity to leverage this in other product categories.

The success of any newsagency business is more reliant on the retailer than on the channel itself. A poor retailer will run a poor newsagency. A good retailer will run a more successful newsagency.

New traffic, better margin, genuine growth in business valuations all come from focussing on products not recently traditionally aligned with our channel.

I own three newsagencies. I am glad I do. I am pleased with their performance.

Mark Fletcher.
Email:  Website:  Blog:
M | 0418 321 338

More newsagents choosing the Tower Systems newsagency POS software


We are thrilled to report that 2019 has been a terrific year of sales of the newsagency software from Tower Systems with many newsagency retailers join ing our user community.

Some have switched from other newsagency POS software companies with others have joined from having nothing as they are new businesses or businesses transitioning from another retail niche.

We are grateful that many retailers have joined us this year and embraced the Tower Systems software, training, support and all round good vibes for retail. We particularly appreciate those who have chosen to pay more for our software than they might have paid had they chosen another company.

In two situations in the last week newsagents have gone with the tower newsagency POS software even though doing so cost them 30% more than other newsagency software. In each case we won the business because of the truth that in business you get what you pay for. Stories about businesses that bought cheap and quickly regretted it and switched demonstrate the truth of this statement.

At Tower Systems we respect newsagents with feature-rich and regularly-evolving POS software made for newsagents, software which is backed with unlimited free training, easy access to help desk services and active engagement in business strategies to help newsagents run more enjoyable and successful businesses.

Serving 1,700+ newsagents helps us to be appropriately resourced to serve newsagents to evolve more valuable businesses. W4e actively represent our community and ensure easy access not only to our practical support services but also to a strategic business management and guidance services, for those who want to tap into this.

With newsagents changing their businesses into new areas, so does POS software need to change to serve these business needs. Thanks  to our work across multiple specialty retail channels, we can help newsagents evolve their businesses if they wish. We can engage in conversations and genuinely practical help to make their businesses more appealing.

Tower Systems serves more newsagents than all other newsagency software companies combined.  We are proud of this fact and appreciate the support from newsagents who have made this so. 2019 has been a terrific year.2020 is already looking good. We are excited for what lays ahead for newsagents and for our newsagency software.

Helping newsagents navigate the challenges of change in print media


For many years, at the Australian Newsagency Blog, we have offered advice, support, opinion and guidance to small business newsagents, helping them to navigate changes and embrace opportunities in their channel.

As the POS software company with more newsagents as customers than all the competition combined we are invested.

Last week, Bauer Media announced their planned take over of the Pacific Magazines business. Here is a post from the Newsagency Blog, by us abut this:

What could the Bauer acquisition of Pacific Magazines mean for newsagents?

While there are regulatory processes to play out and finalisation is anticipated to be months away, the news yesterday that Bauer Media and Seven West Media had reached agreement for Bauer to acquire Pacific has captured the attention of plenty in our channel.

The most common question in emails and calls that I received yesterday from newsagents was what does this mean for us?

I think asking this question now is late. I say this because rationalisation of print media businesses has been happening for some years and has been discussed widely here and elsewhere in our channel.

If you are asking today what it means, you are already behind. If this is you, I encourage you to invest time now to catch up.

If the Bauer / Pacific news has come at a shock and you are wondering about the impact, act now, make decisions that focus on propelling your business forward. No supplier will do this for you – putting your business first in every decision.

While I don’t know what a Bauer acquisition of Pacific will or could mean, we can reasonably speculate that there will be changes over time. It cannot 100% be business as usual.There will have to be changes given the challenges faced by some of the titles involved. One benefit of single ownership of an expanded stable of titles at Bauer would be co-ordinated management of all titles. This could mean less cannibalisation between competing titles through more thoughtful and complementary coverage.

Many of us in the newsagency channel have been actively working on chasingnet new traffic for categories outside of legacy product categories for our channel for years. There have been hits and misses through. Such is the experience of chasing change.

There is no doubt we are in a period of extraordinary change in print media. Change is being driven by how news is delivered into our hands, how and when we engage with news and information, what constitutes news and entertainment, what people will and will not pay for, who is a publisher (all of us?) and how print mastheads and stories are packaged and priced.

The Australian market is small. I think that is a factor playing out here too. Print media products need critical mass. We miss that in some markets here.

Thinking about what could change as a result of the announced acquisition… It would not surprise me to see: the days of magazine delivery changed, maybe to one a week; the closure of some weekly titles; the launch of a new weekly title; changes in monthly titles; greater accessibility for over the counter purchase of titles.

What should matter most to newsagents today is focus of the business changing net new shopper traffic, broadening the shopper appeal through new products, driving overall business GP%, growing online sales so the business is less reliant on local shoppers and chasing opportunities through pursuing what we don’t know our businesses can achieve.

The Bauer / Pacific announcement is an encouragement for us to work on our businesses, to pursue change, to make our businesses more valuable in the future.

All of this, of course, means more focus away from the newsagency shingle.

Helping Australian newsagents transform their businesses


Tower Systems through its newsagency software as well as through its ownership of the newsXpress newsagency marketing group is helping Aussie newsagents transform their newsagency businesses.

Through smart tech tools in the POS software, website connectivity as well as in-store management guidance and out of store marketing, newsXpress is delivering terrific benefits to members and helping newsagents find a good path through a period of extraordinary change.

The days of the old newsagency is Australia are over as new and exciting businesses emerge. These new model businesses are offering less in the way of old-school newsagency products and more in the areas of exciting, innovative and fun products that serve consumers today and into the future.

Speaking at a recent newsagent forum, the newsXpress pitch was simple:

We give newsagents hope by providing options for finding new customers, by helping to farewell out of date practices and by providing access to better margin products. We help newsagents enjoy their businesses more and make them more valuable. This is what we do at newsXpress every day … because, we believe in local small business retail. We are not locked into the shingle of the past. On the horizon, we see a bright future.

Here are 15 things newsXpress offers newsagents. While the full lis is considerably longer, these 15 often matter to newsagents looking for immediate boost in their business.

  1. Access to more than 100 preferred suppliers offering discounts off invoice from 5% to 25% and covering key categories including: gifts, plush, toys, stationery, cards and jewellery.
  2. A monthly DEALS envelope with extra special deals from newsXpress preferred suppliers.
  3. Valuable prizes for major seasons – where one of your customers wins a prize. The total newsXpress Father’s Day prizes worth more than $55,000.
  4. A loyalty program that drives card sales – 100% funded by newsXpress.
  5. Merchandise buying advice based on your own business sales data.
  6. Exclusive product opportunities for highly sought-after products.
  7. Information that helps you sell some products faster than your competitors.
  8. In-store business management advice, training and support.
  9. Regular capital city and regional member meetings where you can network with colleagues and tap into more excellent ideas.
  10. Help in controlling magazine supply.
  11. Free labour rate and other employee management advice from a skilled industrial relations lawyer.
  12. Discount shop insurance.
  13. Marketing support from regular newsXpress funded Facebook and other social media marketing.
  14. Christmas and key seasons catalogues offering excellent value for quality products with good margins – not chasing fickle low price low margin sales.
  15. That everything is optional– newsXpress members engage as they want.

While the traditional Australian newsagency is a thing of the past, newsXpress and Tower Systems are offering newsagents a path to a bright future through opportunities and options from the newsXpress portfolio.

Helping Australian newsagents create more valuable businesses through transformation


Tower Systems also owns newsXpress, a marketing group for newsagents who want to transform their businesses and grow them into something meaningful to today and beyond. Here are details of an offer from newsXpress…

We give newsagents hopeby providing options for finding new customers, by helping to farewell out of date practicesand by providing access to better marginproducts. We help newsagents enjoy their businessesmore and make them more valuable. This is what we do at newsXpress every day … because,we believe in local small business retail. We are not locked into the shingle of the past. On the horizon, we see a bright futureMark Fletcher, CEO, newsXpress Pty Ltd

Every day, we invest in the future of locally owned newsXpress businesses. We run as a community co-operative. There has never been a profit distribution. We are 100% focussed on helping our members be the best, most successful and happiest of retailers.

You can join us as a full-service full-benefits member. Or, you can try us out first…\



We have some newsagents keen to join newsXpress but concerned about the five-year contract and the requirement that 75% of card space is allocated to Hallmark.

For a limited time and a limited number of newsagency businesses, we offer access to a valuable package of newsXpress services on a fixed one-year term trial basis.

As a friend of newsXpress you can trial newsXpress services without long-term obligation.

For a monthly fee of $295.00 (inc.GST) for twelve months only or a one-off up-front fee of $1,750.00 (inc. GST) we would welcome you as a friend of newsXpress for one year. This does not mean you would be a member of the group. There is no agreement to sign, no requirement to rebrand, no card company requirement.

Here is what you would get access to as a friend of newsXpress:

  1. In-store visits from a skilled Retail Development Manager, who will provide fresh-eyes advice on your business and suggest optional changes you could make.
  2. Access to centrally billed suppliers offering discounts off and extended terms.
  3. Access to our weekly newsXpress email, with management and marketing advice.
  4. Access to our knowledge base, an online resource with 200+ articles of advice.
  5. Access to our head office team of retail experts for tactical and strategic advice.
  6. Access to newsXpress regional member meetings.
  7. Access to the newsXpress conferences.

Here is some of what full newsXpress members have access to:

  1. Online sales through product branded websites, delivering net new revenue.
  2. Your own free website branded to your business, selling products your products.
  3. newsXpress preferential pricing from Hallmark and allpreferred suppliers.
  4. A private Facebook group – motivation and encouragement, a safe place to talk.
  5. Access to the private team member Facebook page for your staff.
  6. Financial management counselling service. We offer a deep dive into the business, develop a budget and help with resetting the business physically and financially.
  7. A secure email address.

At the end of the year you would either join newsXpress orcontinue to run your business without access to anything newsXpress offers.

If at any time in the year you want to switch and become a full newsXpress member, we’d apply the portion of the pre-paid one-year amount toward newsXpress member fees.

There is one catch to our offer: You need to be engagedYou need to work with us on growing your business, making it more efficient and more relevantto today.

If you are tired, we will help motivate you. If you are out of cash. We will make low / no cost suggestions. We will not force you do anything.

Become a friend of newsXpress and let is help you.

Our head office team… newsXpress has twelve full time employees working on behalf of members – merchandise experts, marketing professionals, retail advisors.

Our leadership team… is there for you, on anymatter, offering an ear, a hug, advice or representation, on any matter. We will help as much as we are able.

Free POS software e-commerce workshops for small business retailers


How to find new customers by selling online direct from POS software for your specific type of business using Shopify and Magento.

Join us for a free workshop where we will explore Shopify and Magento direct connected POS software for specialty retailers: jewellers, garden centres, produce, toy, firearms, fishing, outdoors, newsagents, pet, gift, book, bike and adult. We will focus on new online insights for 2020 and beyond

  1. Hear from current case studies what other indie retailers are doing.
  2. Find out how to use online to drive in-store shopping.
  3. Learn how click and collect actually works.
  4. Find out about the different buy now pay later options for online sales.
  5. See how stock data including images flow easily from the POS to online.

This workshop will be live and interactive and about your type of business. It could save you thousands in web developer fees. This will not be a sales pitch.

We will cover hot topics including: SEO, shipping options, free shipping, the role of social in online sales, returns, bundles, branding and a plan b for your web strategy.

Click on your preferred city below to book. Each workshop (except for online) will be in an easy to get to capital city location.

  1. SydneySept. 30. 10am.
  2. AdelaideOctober 1. 10am.
  3. PerthOctober 2. 10:30am.
  4. HobartOctober 3. 11am.
  5. MelbourneOctober 4. 10am.
  6. AucklandOctober 7. 10am.
  7. BrisbaneOctober 8. 10am.
  8. CanberraOctober 9. 10am.
  9. OnlineOctober 10. 10am. AEST.
  10. OnlineOctober 10. 2pm. AEST.
  11. WellingtonOctober 14. 10am.
  12. ChristchurchOct. 15. 10am.

We are local. Tower Systems serves 3,500+ specialty businesses – with POS software and websites. We make what we sell. We use it ourselves too, in our own retail and online businesses. If you think we could help you, please call 1300 662 957 or email

Our goal is to help you enjoy a more successful and valuable business.

37 more newsagents switch to the newsagency software from Tower Systems


Thirty-seven more newsagents have chosen the Tower Systems newsagency software in the last year. We are grateful for their support of our newsagency software.

This is great news. The Tower Newsagency business community is stronger and growing. This helps us better help newsagents.

Today, we help newsagents evolve their businesses into new products, through awesome loyalty tools and online … through our POS software. We help way beyond the POS software itself.

Thanks to our newsXpress relationship we offer newsXpress newsagents using our software leverage an exclusive low low EFTPOS rate. One newsagent is $200.00 a month better off while another, in regional Australia, is more than $250.00 a month better off.

Whether you are a retail or distribution newsagent, our software can help you run a more efficient, enjoyable and valuable business.

We continue to own and operate newsagency businesses ourselves and have done since 1996. This helps us make better software for you.

  1. Compliant with industry standards, using our software you can meet criteria for getting onto the no physical returns program with Gotch.
  2. We can help you reduce EFTPOS fees.
  3. Selling online is easy and sell more regardless of your local population.
  4. Offer buy now pay later with Humm, Zip Pay and more.
  5. Our innovative front-end loyalty facilities help you differentiate your business, drive deeper baskets and bring shoppers back sooner.

Our software can work with you as you evolve your product mix. Whether it is into hospitality, services, produce, repairs, online or more, our software has facilities that help make your business more relevant to today’s shopper.

Integrations can also help you cut operating costs, such as bookkeeping fees. We can help you eliminate double and triple handling. We link direct to Xero, for example.

Switching is not expensive. If you have current hardware, the cost can be as low as $2,400 a year thanks to interest free finance from us for 3 years or $49.00/wk leased or $7,200 up front. Included is:

  1. The latest Tower Systems newsagency software.
  2. On-site installation and training by a newsagency business expert.
  3. Data conversion, converting as much data as we can access.
  4. Software support for the first three years. Nothing extra to pay.
  5. Software updates for the first three years. Nothing extra to pay.
  6. Unlimited over the phone follow up training for the first three years.
  7. Access to an awesome online knowledge base with articles & advice.
  8. Access to weekly group live online training workshops.
  9. Access to a private Facebook page where you can discuss any topic.

New financial year business management tips for small business retailers


Last week, we shared advice with our POS software customers on steps they could take for a brighter and healthier 2019/2020 financial year…

Here is a list of things you could suggest for the new financial year.

  1. Change your passwords. Share them sparingly.
  2. Review your department and categories. Ensure they accurately reflect your business and how you want performance reported.
  3. Review system useto determine if fraud is an issue. Our help desk team can help business owners (and only business owners) with this.
  4. if you are not using Discount Vouchers, consider it as it continues to be the easiest and most effective revenue and return visit building tool we have see.
  5. Review your opening hours / rosterbased on a revenue by time assessment.
  6. Take a look at workflow at the counter. Look at steps you can take to streamline the experience. More efficient sales will help drive sales revenue.
  7. Set aside every invoice that you currently enter manually. Email a copy to us at along with supplier contact details. We will reach out to them for you, encouraging them to provide you with an electronic invoice, which will save time and improve data accuracy.
  8. Consider cloud based backupfor faster, safer, backups.
  9. If you have a website, consider an SEO campaignto lift its profile. If your website is more than two years old, consider a refresh or replacement.

We hope that the 2019/20 financial year is wonderful for you and your business. We are keen to help achieve this with and for you. That starts with your engagement.

Newsagency of the future workshops to help newsagents transform their businesses


Tower Systems is supporting this valuable free workshop series for Aussie small business newsagents as they confront disruption in several categories and through the disruption find opportunity.


I invite you to a new free business management workshop for newsagents where I will share an insight into trends in current trading data, trends for core categories overseas and opportunities for growth as we all recast our businesses.

I will ask some tough questions and through these navigate to challenges that sit at the root of some newsagency channel core categories and work through, with you, several opportunities growth in these.

What we explore together will be relevant to any newsagent in any situation, large or small, city or country. The sole focus will be on creating a brighter future, even if that means for you your own business exit strategy.

You will receive valuable takeaways you will be able to use right away as well as thought-provoking questions each of us in retail will have to answer.

While some examples will be newsXpress related, this is not a newsXpress sales event. It is a continuation of my Newsagency of the Further Workshops, which I first ran in 2004 and have evolved ever since.

I will also share newsXpress case studies where business owners have recast their businesses through change. These will include city and country businesses. Large and small.

Please, join me as we invest in a stronger newsagency channel.

  1. May 6. 9am Melbourne. Book now.
  2. May 7. 10am Sydney. Book now.
  3. May 8. 10am Brisbane. Book now.
  4. May 9. 10am Hobart. Book now.
  5. May 10. 10am Adelaide. Book now.

These are the only dates, because of commitments for the next few months. Tower systems CEO Mark Fletcher will host each event.