Community is at the heart of Sineth Sar’s newsagent in Melbourne. Sineth is one of Amazon Australia’s first Counter partners—the new Amazon Hub service for package pickup—and she’s excited about the prospect of new customers the service will bring to her small business.

Born in Cambodia, Sineth’s family moved to Thailand as refugees in 1975. Later that year, Sineth’s uncle sponsored her to move to Paris where she blissfully lived for 30 years. During that time, her international business education brought her all over the world, including to San Francisco and Spain, where her passion for business really took off. When she first moved to Australia 15 years ago, Sineth used her Master’s in IT to land a role with a top telecommunications firm before becoming an entrepreneur. Today, she is settled in Melbourne with her husband and two children and she operates three of her own businesses including a manufacturing company, a consulting firm, and a newsagent, Palm Plaza Lotto Dandenong.

As one of the first partners for Amazon Hub in Australia, Sineth Sar’s newsagent is now a convenient package pickup point for Amazon customers, driving new foot traffic to the kiosk and surrounding shopping center.

From magazines to package pickup point with Counter

Sineth opened her newsagent in 2016. In her words, “the shopping center is a community where we’re always helping each other and neighboring businesses.” Sineth is a member of VANA—The Victorian Association for Newsagents—which focuses on supporting members and helping them explore new business opportunities. It is through VANA that Sineth first learned of Amazon Hub launching in Australia.

The Counter pick up process, based on a technology developed by Amazon, is simple and secure. When a customer orders from Amazon, they can select one of the participating Counter locations as an alternative pickup point to their home address—for instance, Sineth’s newsagent, Palm Plaza Lotto Dandenong. Once the customer’s package arrives to the Counter pickup point, they will receive a mobile notification to pick up their package.

In Australia, Counter is now available at hundreds of VANA-affiliated locations in Victoria, with more launches planned in 2020. Sineth says “Introducing Counter will definitely offer another opportunity for me to increase foot traffic and revenue.”

The key: maintaining a community spirit

Sineth believes in helping each other and building a community spirit at her newsagent with customers and neighboring businesses. According to Sineth, the customer experience and face time is very important to the success of her business. “It’s how I’ve been able to keep growing since I opened in 2016. I love meeting with people and being part of their lives. When customers come to my store, they relax as if we were family.”