Warrick Hosking – NewsXpress Gympie

How long have you been a Newsagent and what awards have you won?
I’ve been in the industry for 28 years and started managing NewsXpress Gympie in 2000.

Industry Awards

  • 2001 – Outstanding Performer Award. Connections With ACP
  • 2002 – Best Magazine Displays QLD. Connections With ACP
  • 2003 – Queensland Distribution Newsagent of the Year
  • 2003 – National Distribution Newsagent of the Year (Finalist)
  • 2004 – Queensland Distribution Newsagent of the Year. (Finalist)
  • 2006 – Recognition of Excellence Award. Connections With ACP
  • 2006 – Queensland Newsagent of the Year (Finalist)
  • 2007 – ACP Magazines Newsagent of the Year. Connections With ACP
  • 2007 – ACP Magazines Emerald Club No1
  • 2007 – Queensland Newsagent of the Year
  • 2008 – National Retail Newsagent of the Year (Finalist)
  • 2008 – ACP Magazines Newsagent of the Year. Connections With ACP
  • 2008 – Queensland Newsagent of the Year
  • 2009 – National Newsagent of the Year (Finalist)
  • 2009 – Queensland New Technology Newsagent of the Year
  • 2009 – NewsXpresser of the Year
  • 2010 – National New Technology Newsagent of the Year (Finalist)
  • 2010 – ACP Magazines Emerald Club No1.
What did you do before you became a newsagent?
Mum and Dad owned a newsagency in Beaufort, Victoria. I started delivering newspapers at the age of 7, on a push bike, every morning, rain, hail or shine so I guess you could say that I had newsagencies in my blood from an early age.

In 1979 Mum and Dad sold up and moved to Queensland where I finished school and then joined the Army. I spent 3 years in the Royal Australian Signal Corps at Enoggera at the 1st Signal regiment. After that I worked for an electrical engineering company in Brisbane until 1989 and then moved back to the newsagency channel working at Connolly’s News (now newsXpress gympie).

I took over as manager in 1999 and that is still where I am today.

What’s the best and worst thing about being an agent?
That’s easy. The worst and most hated chore would be stocktake at the end of June. The best was selling a million dollar lotto ticket to a syndicate of 5 very happy local girls. This certainly changed their lives.
How long is your normal day?
A normal day is up at 3.15am. Open our shop at 5.30am and close at 6.00pm.

Get home around 6.30 and then onto the computer for emails, local store marketing and promotions.

I decided to open on Christmas Day for 6 hours for clients to get their last minute gifts. It proved to be a very successful morning.

Do you have any examples of how you go above and beyond the normal to provide service and entertainment for your customers? And did the recent floods affect you?
In store cooking demos are a great hit. We’ve even designed our own poster to advertise when ”The Gympie Chef” is cooking.

I love working with industry suppliers to create our own promotions.

During the recent floods I decided to camp in the shop on the first night as I didn’t know if I could get into town the next day. Setting up a mattress on the shop floor and having ample supplies in the fridge made it an interesting and unexpected holiday.

Do you have any funny or unusual stories relating to the business?
Everyday there are jokes, smiles and some very funny customers that just make your day at work a blast.

It’s the interaction between clients when you might have heard something and then two days later you here the same story plus more. The story has exploded 10 fold. It’s quite amusing.

Creating a theme in our business is an important part of retail theatre. This leads to fun, a good laugh and great atmosphere.

The strangest question/request you’ve had?
The strangest question was “Do you have a card for my wife that says I’m not going to press charges against her”. That was very funny.
Could you send us the photo of the elderly regular customer of yours who whacks you when the mags are late?
Very sorry about this, I tried and tried to get Mrs Hoggard to be in the picture but she has declined. She is a massive fan of Lovatt’s Magazines but she doesn’t like the lime light.