Newsagents, Stationary and Books

istock female bruntte curly hair employee newsagency gift boxes retailBook retailing covers fiction and non-fiction books - including audio books, educational texts and children's books. Stationery retailing includes pens and paper; art supplies, greeting cards; envelopes; business forms - and equipment such as rulers, erasers, scissors, highlighters and sticky notes. Newsagents sell newspapers, periodicals and hobby magazines.

About 2,300 South Australians are employed in the sector - although more than half the bookstores, stationers and newsagencies have fewer than 20 employees.

Outlets in this sector can be very small, selling only one of these ranges; larger, with a mixture; or 'superstores' with a broad selection. Bookstores, stationers and newsagents compete with department stores and websites selling books; supermarkets and post offices selling stationery - and newspapers or magazines are found almost anywhere!

In response, some stores now stock technology products as well as gifts and packaging and offer copying, printing and other services. Major booksellers also now sell on-line, while stationers and newsagents have formed large buying groups of up to a thousand members.

Australians spend almost $8 billion a year on books, newspapers, magazines and stationery in 9,500 businesses.


Newsagents, Stationery & Bookshops Sector Leaflet

Download the Newsagents, Stationery and Bookshops Sector Leaflet (2.3MB)



Vy Hookway

Vy HookwayName: Vy Hookway
Age: 27
Place of work: Drake Supermarkets
Role: Newsagency Supervisor
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (major Psychology & Philosophy), currently undertaking a Diploma in Retail Management
Estimated salary range for this job role: $61K - $80K


I've worked in retail for ten years, starting in juice and DVD franchises and working in a newsagency while at uni. When I graduated, I was on track to become a psychologist - but took an opportunity in retail operations and don't regret it! I moved up to a national role at 22 and National Franchise Business Manager at 24. I now have my perfect role at Drakes!

Activities include people management, promotional planning, staff training, dealing with suppliers and legislation compliance - across three newsagencies, six in-store newsagencies and forty newsagency departments.

I love working with my team and developing the managers - and the retail landscape is constantly changing! When I finish my Diploma, I'd like to do a Masters of Retail Business Management.


Louise Fay

Louise FayName: Louise Fay
Age: 23
Place of Work: Dymocks
Role: Special Orders Supervisor
Qualifications: Bachelor in Health Sciences, majoring in Pathology
Estimated salary range for this job role: $21-40K

I have worked in retail for nearly five years starting as a Christmas casual at a Myer department store. I often worked longer hours and more frequently over the university holidays. I was able to obtain a position with Dymocks via an ex-Myer colleague who had previously moved stores. Since I am an avid reader, being offered a position at a bookstore was something that was very hard to turn down!

I maintain customer special orders; reserving books so we can alert them when it arrives, or ordering books that we don't usually stock. I also maintain customer lay-bys and process sales and inquiries for in-store customers. It's a real buzz to order that book that a customer just has to have, or they really need to finish an assignment. However dealing with titles that have been delayed or cancelled can be troublesome as we often don't receive more than "sorry, that title has been cancelled" - passing such vague information on to the customer can be frustrating. Dealing with conflict with customers can often be intimidating, especially when you are a young female just starting out. Learning your company policies thoroughly is most helpful so you can stand your ground more confidently.

I've not had one single mentor, but I consider everyone I work with as someone that I can look to for help or guidance. Not enough people realise the work that goes on behind the scenes when they enter a shop. I would encourage anyone who is a people person with a desire to help others to enter the retail industry. There can be great joy in helping an appreciative customer find something that they really want.