Newsagents selling Newsquest weekly and daily local titles are likely to see their margins cut to below 15% next week in the publisher’s latest bout of price increases.
An update from National Title File listed 41 weekly and six daily Newsquest titles as increasing in price between 8 and 11 November. Of these, 39 weekly titles and four daily titles were confirmed as being accompanied by a fall in retailer percentage margin.
Weekly titles increased in price by an average of 7.7p, while the average margin fell from 15.4% to 14.9%. The changes mean that the average retailer selling one of the affected weekly title stands to gain less than a penny per copy sold from the price increase.
The NFRN’s head of news Brian Murphy suggested its members affected by the terms cuts “may seriously think twice about continuing to stock thes Newsquest titles.”
The weeklies due to increase in price while cutting retailer percentage margins are:
Abingdon Herald, Ascot News, Bicester Advertiser, Bracknell News, Bromsgrove Advertiser, Buckinghamshire Free Press for Amesbury Chesam and Chalfont, Buckinghamshire Free Press for Buckingham, Bury Times (Thu), Cotswold Journal, Didcot Herald, Droitwich Advertiser, Evesham Journal, Gazette & Herald Chippenham & Calne, Gazette & Herald Devizes, Gazette & Herald Marlborough, Gloucestershire Gazette Thornbury, Gloucestershire Gazette Yate, Gloucestershire Gazette (Standard), Halesowen & Dudley News, Kidderminster Shuttle, Knutsford & Wilmslow Guardian, Ledbury Reporter, Malvern Gazette, Marlow Free Press, Oxford Times, Redditch & Alcester Advertiser, Royal Borough Observer, Slough South Bucks Observer, Stourbridge News, Stroud News, Wallingford Herald, Wantage Herald, Warrington Guardian, Wiltshire & Gloucestershire Standard (Cotswolds), Wiltshire & Gloucestershire Standard (North West), Wiltshire Times, Witney Gazette, Wokingham News and the Worcester Journal.
The dailies due to increase in price while cutting retailer percentage margin are Bolton News, Oxford Mail, Swindon Advertiser and the Worcester News.
Newsquest’s decision to cut store percentage terms comes in the same year that major publishers including DMG Media, News UK and Reach chose to protect store percentage terms. In Reach’s most recent rises on its local papers, all 23 titles saw retailer margins increased pro-rata. The NFRN highlighted the contrast between other publishers and Newsquest, adding: “The decision made by Newsquest is nothing short of disgraceful and shows a total lack of appreciation for the independent retail sector.”