The loyal Port Mall Newsagency customers love the family-friendly business and although Philip and Leoni’s children have now moved on to their own careers, customers regularly enquire about them. Daughter Kate now has two of her own children who regularly visit Nana & Pa at the shop and help out by smiling at the regulars.
Philip & Leoni, now assisted by some terrific young employees who are very customer focused, were selected as finalists in the SA Newsagency of the Year awards in 2011. It was the 5th time Port Mall Newsagency had been a finalist. In 2006 they won best Retail Newsagent of the Year.
Mrs Lil Baker (pictured left) has been a loyal Port Mall Newsagency customer for over 15 years. She has her favourite Lovatts puzzle books put away ready for her to collect during her twice weekly visit. One of the things that makes Lil so special is that she has just turned 96.
She relies on her puzzle books to keep her mind active and to help pass the time of day. Lil always has a friendly smile and is always greeted warmly by all the Port Mall Newsagency team.
Port Mall Newsagency - Contact Details:
Shop 4, Port Mall Shopping Centre
176 St. Vincent St, Port Adelaide 5015
Phone: (08) 8447 2961; Fax: (08) 8447 2909
Pictured, left to right: 2001 ACP Top Performer Award; Creative display promoting Money Magazine; 2008 - Inducted into the Shepparton Business Hall Of Fame; Regular customer and tractor enthusiast, Ian Hunter.
Gary Lovell - ‘Lucky Lovell’s Lottery Centre’, Shepparton
Gary Lovell started working as a paperboy in 1968 and now runs Lucky Lovell’s Lottery Centre.
Gary’s family have been in the newsagency business for 43 years. The agency is called Lucky Lovell’s because they’ve sold 46 first division winning tickets in Tattslotto!
The newsagency delivers 26,000 newspapers every week and has won countless awards over the years for their business achievements and service.
As well as working in the newsagency every day until 6pm, Gary has been with the Search and Rescue Squad for over 30 years. “If I can help save one life it’s well worth doing,” said Gary.
A bit of a celebrity in Shepparton, it is no surprise that Gary can’t go anywhere in the area without running into someone he knows… Continue reading below to find out more:
The following is an extract from an interview conducted on December 2, 2010 and which appeared on the Shepparton News website.
Click questions [Q] to reveal answers [A].
- You’ve helped to run several businesses in your time – from two newsagencies, Lovell’s Toy Place, a video store and Harvey World Travel. You’re a busy man, aren’t you?
- It used to be mum, dad, Wendy Louise and my brother-in-law, David. There was quite a few of us. Mum is now retired, Wendy went into politics and Dad passed away. David runs the travel agency and Louise and I run the newsagency.
It’s hard. We don’t get a break. We work from 2am to 6pm and I’m working seven days a week.
- Where did you grow up?
- I grew up in Williamstown. I was very much into sport in my younger years. I was a good swimmer, I competed in a number of state titles and I was into yachting.
I also surfed up and down the coast – I had long hair and it was peroxided.
I moved to Shepparton in 1975 at the age of 17. I would travel back and forth every weekend and used to travel down on the train and do my sailing and catch the paper truck back on Sunday and get in at 5am.
- You’ve been with the Search and Rescue Squad for 30 years now, how did you get involved?
- In Rotary I met Shepparton News photographer, Simon Greig. His wife was in Rotary. He conned me into going for the Search and Rescue Squad.Simon was at me for three years and I kept turning him down but they needed divers and I’d dived before. I started off as an underwater diver and gradually got into other areas.
People often say to me, ‘Why do you do it? You must see some horrible things?’ It’s something that I can do that not many others can. If I can save a life, it’s well worth doing.
- You’re a bit of a minor celebrity in Shepparton – it seems everyone knows you?
- I can’t go anywhere. Everyone knows me. Even when I go on holidays I’ll run into someone. I ran into someone when I was in Germany.
- What’s kept you in town?
- The lifestyle. Country people are a lot friendlier. I live 13kms from town but I can be home and in the pool with a glass of red in ten minutes. You can’t do that in the city.
- Do you love it here?
- Yeah, but I’d also love to live on a tropical island.
- Are you lucky Gary?
- I have won first division in a syndicate twice. My nickname is Lucky with the Search and Rescue. It’s written on my casual rescue shirt. I wasn’t so lucky when I got on deal or No Deal and didn’t win anything.
- Have you got any bad habits?
- I smoke. The boys are always on at me about it. I also talk too much.
- You’ve come a long way from the surfer boy from the coast with long peroxided hair, haven’t you?
- I didn’t know how I was going to go living inland and so far away from the coast. I mean, I used to wear the Cheesecloth shirt and one of those seashell necklaces.
List of Achievements:
- 1991 - Inaugural Newsagent of the Year in Retail
- 1991 - Inaugural Newsagent of the Year in Distribution
- 1992 - Newsagent of the Year Finalists
- 1992 - Gordon & Gotch Magazine Pace Setter Award
- 1993 - Newsagent of the Year Finalist
- 1993 - Gordon & Gotch Tattersall’s Super Operator Award
- 1994 - Tattarsall’s Super Operator Award
- 1995 - Shepparton Business Achievements Award Finalist
- 1995 - Gordon & Gotch Magazine Pace Setter Award
- 1996 - Newsagent of the Year Finalist
- 1996 - Shepparton Business Achievements Award Finalist
- 1996 - Herald & Weekly Times Commitment to Excellence Award
- 1997 - 3SR Good Service Award Winner
- 1998 - Harvey World Travel National Office of the Year
- 1998 - Newsagent of the Year Finalist
- 1999 - Shepparton Business Achievements Award Finalist
- 2000 - Tattersall’s Excellence in Customer Service Award
- 2000 - Shepparton Business Achievements Award Winner
- 2001 - Tattersall’s Overall Customer Service Award
- 2001 - Tattersall’s Retail Presentation Award
- 2001 - Tattersall’s National Retailer of the Year
- 2001 - ACP Magazines National Top Performer
- 2001 - Shepparton Business Achievements Award Winner
- 2002 - Newsagent of the Year Finalist
- 2003 - Newsagent of the Year Finalist
- 2003 - Inducted into The Age newspaper Hall of Fame
- 2005 - Newsagent of the Year Finalist
- 2006 - Newsagent of the Year Finalist
- 2003 - Inducted into the Shepparton Business Hall of Fame
Warrick Hosking - NewsXpress Gympie
Click questions [Q] to reveal answers [A]
- 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.
- 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.
Ever wondered how the Lovatts puzzle empire began?
ABC Radio’s Richard Fidler delves deep into the history of Christine and James Lovatt, uncovering some surprising facts along the way. Find out how a double-decker bus, a mutual love of Scrabble and a chance encounter brought together one of Australia’s most successful publishing duos..
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