Customers keen to read all about it, says newsagent
REPORTS of the death of newspapers are greatly exaggerated – says a man who has bought a Plymouth newsagents.
Aaron Lidstone is the new owner of Mannamead News, in Eggbuckland Road, and is confident about the future of printed papers and magazines despite the threats posed by the internet, the double-dip recession and other news media.
Mr Lidstone has a team of 40 paper boys and girls, and sells an astonishing 425 copies of The Herald every day.
He also shifts about 70 copies of the Western Morning News on an "average day" too.
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In fact, he sees more than 1,000 newspapers, including national titles, come in and go out of his shop each day and agrees there is life in newsprint yet.
"There's a future here for me anyhow," he said. "People will always buy newspapers."
He said business was "healthy" and he had already grown the number of accounts.
He added: "The area we're in is a nice area, a nice part of Plymouth. There are a lot of older people and they want their papers delivered."
The newsagents, part of a row of small shops and just across the road from others including a totally separate business called Mannamead Stores, sells other products beside newspapers.
Mr Lidstone does a good trade in magazines, stationery, confectionery and tobacco too.
"It's because of the area," he said. "And we have a primary school so we get the children coming in for sweets."
Mr Lidstone took over Mannamead News in January from previous owner Peter Small, who retired after running the business for 23 years.
For Mr Lidstone it was a change of direction following 20 years in the building trade.
He found out the shop was for sale because his mother, Valerie Lidstone, runs Mannamead Hair Care next door.
"I was looking for a career change," he said. "I grew up in this area and knew the store, and it fitted in with me."
Mr Lidstone also has a commercial fishing boat and finds the flexibility offered by the newsagents allows him to oversee both businesses.
At Mannamead News he retained Graham Lamb, who had worked for Mr Small for 22 years, as manager, and said: "Graham's support has been phenomenal."
The store employs four part-time staff, in addition, and two Saturday girls.
And Mr Lidstone's wife Angela is also integral, taking control of accountancy and admin duties.
Mr Lidstone praised his young delivery team too.
"The paper boys and girls are very reliable," he said. "They are a good bunch."