Now there is an important election happening in VANA, which is probably the most important newsagency association outside of the ANF.
There are running for the top position two candidates with quite separate views on how VANA should be run.
One of these people, I know well as I have worked with him in the past is Trevor Mason. Trevor Mason runs an organisation First Advantage.
From my experience, Trevor Mason does know what he is talking about and puts his point out very well. In his view is that the newsagency industry needs a shake up because as he sees it about 1/3 of the newsagency industry is in real danger of disappearing soon and his solutions is a modern retail approach. This involves among other points a buying group, adequate stock control systems in the group, financial management and debt management, a product mix appropriate for newsagents, experienced work force, store layout and display of stock and adequate proximity to key markets.
Little of this can happen, unless VANA becomes more of a commercial entity. This may cause problems for members of the organisation that he sees as marginal. It will involve a change in VANA existing mission. It will also cause conflict with those that see VANA as a group and with several marketing groups that exist already in the newsagency place. It will also cause problems with existing suppliers, many of who would be extremely reluctant to get involved in such a reorganisation. Depending on your view this may be a necessary evil.
Although I do not know the other candidate Robert Wade, from what I have been told he has nothing against a modern approach to retailing but sees VANA as a group.
If you are a VANA member, I do advise you to vote as I do believe that this election could have major affect on your organisation.