Egmont Publishing has told RN it intends to include another one of its titles into its two-tier distribution trial in January 2019.
The news comes after the NFRN successfully lobbied the publisher to remove its Lego Star Wars magazine from the trial last week. The distribution strategy first announced in September cuts out independents, allowing multiples to be the first retailers to receive magazines. Any unsold copies then get handed down to independents.
A spokesperson from Egmont said: “Egmont remains 100% committed to testing a sustainable distribution model in the UK independents channel. As this is such a small scale test we will include another title from the Egmont portfolio into the UK trial from January, to ensure our findings are as robust as possible.
“We have the full support of our partners and firmly believe that this initiative has the potential to improve sustainability whilst answering the concerns of consumers and growing sales in the independents channel. As we have said from the beginning, this is a test, and any future roll-out will be determined by the results of the test. We look forward to sharing the results of the trial next year.”
In response, NFRN's national president said he has called on Egmont for an urgent meeting: “We need to press home the independent retailers’ view on these hairbrained schemes. The NFRN are aghast of Egmont’s arrogance and that the two wholesalers have not heeded to common sense and put a complete stop to this ridiculous trial.
"They say they in their comment they have the full support of their partners, but we have proven this is wrong and that their publishing partners are unaware of the previous situation. We will watch with interest which title they decide to take down this ludicrous route.”
Egmont's Toxic title remains the only magazine included in the trial thus far.