The publisher said a technical printing problem overnight resulted in what its head of retail marketing, Chris Hughes, called ‘an unprecedented challenge.’

The Sun, The Times and The Telegraph are understood to have been affected, with wholesalers completing reruns at a later point.

Les Gilbert, of Chard News in Somerset, told betterRetailing retailers were losing patience with the constant late deliveries.

DCT and News UK concerned for print despite growth

“We are getting fed up with the supply chain and the latest excuse for newspapers being delivered late,” he said.

“Publishers continue to apologise, but the reality is it’s not enough and this incident cost us £100. It is not an isolated incident. Retailers appreciate things go wrong, but we are all paying an expensive price for delivery and we get absolutely nothing.”

News UK announces service charge increase for 2019

In response to betterRetailing, a News UK spokesperson said: “We’re glad the issue was resolved, but apologise to all retailers who had late deliveries. We appreciate wholesale for pulling together to get the reruns out and at times like these you see the supply chain at its best. Thanks also to our retail partners for ensuring copies were available for sale and that home news delivery customers received their newspapers.”