Menzies hub errors lead to distribution misery
Standards reported to have fallen since distribution deal was struck in April this year
Menzies hub errors in Coventry are causing late and missing magazine deliveries for retailers across the UK, sources have told betterRetailing.
Following a deal between Menzies Distribution and magazine distributors Frontline and Seymours signed in April this year, the wholesaler was made responsible for delivering most of the UK’s magazines to Smiths News and Menzies depots, which are then sent out to 25,000 shops.
However, several sources told betterRetailing that standards had fallen since the deal, leading to frequent delays, and availability issues.
One source shared evidence with betterRetailing showing late deliveries by Menzies causing key magazines to arrive late into stores.
They also showed that undersupply by Menzies was causing depots further down the chain to have to under supply major titles into shops, while supplies of niche titles to some stores were cut completely.
Another source claimed the departure of senior staff at the brand-new Coventry Menzies hub was behind the problems.
Brian Webb of Webbs in Leverington, Cambridgeshire, told betterRetailing delivery lateness had led to complaints from his customers. “My copies of Farmers Weekly were missing, and Smiths News said it was because Menzies had delivered them late into their depot,” he said.
“Worst of all, Smiths News said there were no staff over the weekend to pack them, so they wouldn’t arrive until the following Tuesday. I’ve had several angry calls from customers because of it.”
NFRN news operations manager Peter Williamson added that a lack of availability was an issue. He told betterRetailing: “We are disappointed at the delays. Magazine shortages are becoming more apparent and we hope Menzies will take action.”
In response, a Menzies spokesperson told betterRetailing: “Our new magazine primary distribution depot has been brought online at pace over recent weeks, and, regrettably, we have experienced some service issues during this start-up period.”
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