Egmont will lobby other children’s magazine publishers to also give independents returned stock from multiples if it deems the current trial a success.

Discussing the trial, and working with other publishers to create a more efficient supply chain, at the company’s annual insight report on 5 March, the company’s magazine commercial director, Siobhan Galvin, said: “It’s crucial that we collaborate, share best practice and agree a joined-up approach to a sustainable category.”

The current trial sees unsold copies of its Toxic and Go Girl titles in supermarkets returned to the wholesaler at the end of the original on-sale period, before being sent back out to independents between four and six weeks after the original on-sale date.  

This means independents will always be at least one edition behind their competitors.

It affects all newsagents served by Menzies in Wakefield and Smiths News in Newcastle.

Galvin claimed that the “two-wave redistributions” system could reduce waste by up to 10%, was already in place for most of its titles in the Republic of Ireland and that it was necessary to change the distribution model in order to “ensure a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren”.

The commercial director cancelled a scheduled interview with RN and refused to comment on the impact of the scheme on independent retailers until summer of this year, when it will release its first set of findings.

A source within the news supply chain confirmed to RN that the wholesalers, which are working with Egmont in the trial, will receive a payment for every copy redistributed in second-wave distribution systems, regardless of whether it is sold. 

NFRN’s head of news and magazines, Brian Murphy, said Egmont has failed to define what counts as a successful trial and warned: “The reality is that a publisher seems intent on dictating the future of the magazine supply chain without consultation with its component parts.”

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