Monday, January 29, 2007

周末版報紙延長壽命

雖然早已有免費報紙,禤中怡都會每天掏腰包買報紙,因為已經成為習慣。一向光顧報紙檔,有親切感之餘,同老闆可以有傾有講。昨日赫然發現報紙檔竟有《信報》和《經濟日報》售賣,莫非小超人要《信報》變招,連周日也有報紙出版搶生意?至於經濟日報(423)上市後也要與其他報紙一較高下?但細心一看,封面卻是上周五恒指收市表現,似乎有點outdated,即過時也。難得老闆娘對禤中怡的懷疑一點也不感驚奇,原來該兩份報紙真的是周六發售的,但報紙發行商卻要求她們要多擺放一天,意味周一才收回。老闆娘坦言,過期報紙誰人會買呢?但面對發行商的壓力,也只好騰出一點空間展示報紙交差,實際能否賣出也不感樂觀。

其實,每日早上大家上班前買報紙,或拿取免費報紙,希望接觸最新資訊,故報紙也有其獨特時間性,若稍遲出售,客戶或轉購其他報紙。午後報紙的剩餘價值已不多,即使減價也乏人問津,何況還要多擺一天?該兩份報紙或可效法國際級報章如《華爾街日報》和《金融時報》推出周末版,在報頭刊登專為周六和周日而設,屆時報紙檔就難推辭。

面對這種場面,禤中怡突然想起麵包銷售策略。麵包商利用生產和物流技巧,將新鮮出爐的麵包,趕在超市開門前,或銷售高峰期前送達,否則客戶見貨架空空如也,或者客戶轉購其他品牌的話,銷售必大受打擊。此外,超市職員也會把將近到期的麵包放在最前面,希望先賣出這些麵包,因為過期麵包已失去商業價值。

禤中怡由此看到發行商勢力不容忽視,報紙檔也要遵從,而報紙檔的議價能力進一步削弱,或許與便利店售報紙的影響日漸浮現有關。今天往報紙檔買報紙,早已有「標價6元」,實收5元情況,那少收的一元大概又是由檔主承擔,以便與便利店長期減價競爭,但後者可藉售賣其他貨品作補貼,自然較有優勢。香港中小零售商生存空間日益萎縮,當報紙檔消失後,便利店還會減價賣報紙嗎?

美國息口的啟示
美國上周新屋銷售強勁,去年12月升4.8%,售價中位數亦較去年11月升1.3%至23.5萬美元(約183.3萬港元),而耐用品訂單於該月亦升3.1%,可見經濟放緩或已改善。

以全年計,當地新屋銷售其實較05年下跌17.3%,並且是16年以來面對最大年度跌幅,料會為美國聯邦儲備局於本周四議息時增添參考數據。初步看,減息恐怕不容易,而加息機會也相信不大,維持不變料會是最佳的決定。其實,憧憬減息是推動美股向上動力之一,但要息口真的掉頭向下談何容易,因為單是這個「憧憬」已令美元匯價轉弱,大家看兌英鎊快要見二算了。若你投資美股,所賺的回報就必須豐厚,否則兌換成英鎊的話,可能因美元匯價疲弱而得不償失,所以分散投資總有其道理。

(1月29日刊於《am730》)

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