Menzies has promised that a proposed reverse takeover of its distribution business by parcel delivery firm DX would have no effect on retailers.

The merger would offer huge savings for both companies and enable distribution centres to run a UK-wide, 24-hour service, with news during the night and the parcel business coming to the fore during the day.

The NFRN gave the announcement a cautious welcome. “At first sight, this could be good news for Menzies’ retail customers, particularly if it means a more cost-effective news distribution service,” said chief executive Paul Baxter.

“If that is the case, NFRN members can rest assured that we will be seeking a reduction in carriage charges, as well as a promise that service levels will be improved.”

The deal is likely to be concluded in the summer.