Papersdirect looking to expand retailer network 

Newspaper distribution service Papersdirect is looking to expand its network of independent retailers, following the launch of free store-specific websites to drive subscriptions. 

Papersdirect acts as an online registry of independent home news delivery (HND) agents across the UK, offering an alternative to similar schemes run by publishers and large-scale delivery groups. 

Once a customer is signed up to have papers delivered, they are assigned a HND roundsperson within their area, without having to search for it themselves. Deliveries to businesses can also be carried out, using the same system. 

Owner Rory O’Brien told RN he is “looking to expand the network by contacting new potential retailers in key areas sought by potential customers”. 

The move comes less than a month after the system underwent an extensive server upgrade. 

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Previously, the service would pass new customers directly on to retailers from a central database, but now it will create individual websites for either individual stores or roundspersons. This will give them the opportunity to promote their specific service directly to the shopper. 

“Papersdirect will set these websites up using the information provided when someone signs up,” said O’Brien, “But retailers will have the option to update and amend them as needed. The intention is for this to help retailers find customers as soon as they start looking for an HND agent.” 

O’Brien confirmed that retailers will already have received calls from the firm, in an attempt to inform them of the service and attract new stores and roundspeople to sign up in areas where Papersdirect has a lack of coverage. “We’ve already begun the recruitment process, so retailers can expect us to be making contact,” he said. 

In addition, the system will automatically update retailers on price changes, barcodes and EPoS data. Discussing the progress of recruitment, O’Brien revealed: “This month, I’ve received a couple of thousand orders.” 

It is understood that for each order made, Papersdirect takes payment for the first week. The process is then transferred to the retailer, who takes ownership from then on. 

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