Spar Scotland temporarily dropped the Telegraph from sale over the publisher’s poor retailer terms, according to industry sources.
The more than 100 Spar Scotland (CJ Lang) stores operated the group removed the title from its shelves on 24 May. An industry source first tipped RN off to the move stating, “the shelves will be empty from today onwards as part of a dispute over the Telegraph’s terms.”
Five Spar Scotland stores subsequently confirmed to RN that the Telegraph was missing from their orders the following morning. A staff member at one store told RN: “We received a message yesterday from head office saying The Telegraph had been delisted from all Spar Scotland sites.” Independently owned Spar sites in Scotland werre unaffected by the decision.
Spar Scotland confirmed the de-listing but did not comment on the disagreement. The firm said it had now ended its boycott of the title. A spokesperson told RN: “Supplies of The Telegraph have been re-instated. The Telegraph will be available from company owned SPAR Scotland stores on 26 May 2021.”
The move follows a string of moves by the Telegraph since the start of 2021 that have angered retailers. It cut its retailer margins to the lowest of any national paper at 19.1% on Saturdays, repeatedly recharged retailers for vouchers filed related to the Extinction Rebellion protest and Boxing Day, and recently stopped crediting vouchers before the on-sale date, damaging retailer cash flows.
Spar Scotland is not alone in taking action. Major home news delivery firm NewsTeam Group introduced a delivery surcharge for Telegraph readers and stopped accepting new orders in February in response to the Telegraph’s ‘disrespectful’ attitude towards retailers.
Both CJ Lang and Telegraph Media Group have been approaced for comment.