WHSmith Local is recommending franchisees not to sell news and magazines if copy sales cannot offset carriage charges.

Head of WHSmith Local Kevin Whitehouse said the group had to help its retailers manage in-store space and recommend the removal of categories if they were financially unviable.

He said: “Retailers need 3-4m of space for a decent news and magazines range, but if a store is only making £60-£80 of sales a week and has to pay carriage charges, it doesn’t stack up financially. In that instance, we wouldn’t be doing our job properly if we didn’t say it might be better not to have news and magazines.”