As promised, here are some details of French newsagencies. They are probably be better described as subagents. Almost all are newsagencies and tobacconist.
For many years, the newsagency part is dropping. Newspaper's margins are between 10 to 14%, which is less than in Germany. The newspaper range tends to be much bigger often having newspapers from several countries. They do not do deliveries.
The margins are 15% on magazines. In France, magazines tend to be of high quality, and are much cheaper. If you take many overseas magazines, convert the cover price to Australian dollars, I think you will agree it is quite outrageous how much newsagents here are being asked to sell them. Partly, because the publications are cheaper and partly because I think Australian are more keen on technology, the internet has not effected them as much.
The big department is tobacco. Almost all have tobacco. It is a growth product. To be a tobacconist is very difficult and as in many businesses in Europe, it is limited where you can have one. Partly, as the government does not like you to have a tobacco shop close to another tobacco shop. What sells really well is expensive cigars.
Cards as I stated early, are tiny. The margins are about 50%. People in France never have been interested in them.
Telephone cards sell very well. However, the margin is lower than here 2 to 3% margin. Most people do like them as they do bring people into the shop.
It is very costly for businesses because of high taxes. Employing people is very expensive is payroll tax, the rate is about 100%. Effectively, a newsagent in France has to pay a double salary.
Computer systems are not sold but rented, which is something that one of my competitors has been talking about doing. However, unlike their perpetual lease, the cost in France is worked out on a five-year contract per register per month.