Home news delivery (HND) technology company PaperRound is working with more publishers to implement preferential terms for stores using its service, following the success of its collaboration with Daily Mail Group (DMG).
Speaking to Better Retailing, PaperRound director John Harris described the Mail partnership, which pays stores extra for delivering Mail subscription copies. He said: “We’ve had a reasonable number of retailers opt in and we’re pushing to get as many of our stores onboard as possible.”
“It’s a good thing for the industry, because all you hear about at the moment is margin cuts, so this reverses that, which is to everybody’s benefit.”
PaperRound has also worked with Reach for the past eight years, and recently upgraded access to the platform via PayPoint.
Harris explained that a number of publishers had seen the impact of PaperRound’s arrangement with DMG and expressed an interest in taking that approach on more fronts.
“From a sales point of view, home delivery stands up better than casual sales,” Harris said. “The Mail has grasped this and taken the initiative with it, and some other publishers are planning to follow suit.”
Speaking in early April, Harris said: “Right now, we’ve got just more than 700 actively using the software to manage their rounds and day-to-day operations.”
Harris went on to explain that these users ranged from local shops delivering as few as 20 copies a day, to roundspeople covering vast areas.
PaperRound is seeing a lot of consolidation as smaller stores pull back from the HND market or sell their stores separately to new retailers and new roundspeople.
PaperRound has options for subretailing and other alternative arrangements that are becoming more popular, including adding additional products, such as groceries, to stores’ deliveries.
After analysing the different delivery charges between different HND agents, Harris suggested many independent newspaper deliverers may be charging too little.
He said: “I think, ‘how are you possibly making any money?’ With the Mail, we’ve put a minimum delivery charge of 35p a day.
“A lot of newsagents fear they’ll lose customers if they put prices up, and that may well be the case, but what’s the point of keeping a customer if you’re making a loss?”
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