Future of newspaper supply chain challenged

The NFRN and ACS have joined forces to raise their concerns about the future of the newspaper supply chain in a letter to the Minister of State for Media and Data, John Whittingdale MP.

In the letter, the trade bodies outlined a number of areas that need to be addressed in order for the newspaper supply chain to operate more efficiently and effectively, including carriage service charges (CSCs), requested delivery times, territorial protection and coupon redemption processes.

The letters follows recent calls from newspaper publishers and wholesaler representatives for a competition wavier to bring the industry together to discuss the future of the newspaper supply chain. The newspaper market has been hit hard by Covid-19, with several regional and national publishers reducing retailers’ percentage margins alongside cover price price rises.

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NFRN national president Stuart Reddish said: “We stand ready to engage with publishers, wholesalers and the government to build a news supply chain that is fit for the challenges of 2020 and beyond.

“If the industry is to rise to that challenge then everything from the carriage service charge to absolute territorial protection and the handling of returns must be up for discussion. Only then will we be able to build a supply chain that works for everyone, including the customer waiting for this morning paper to be pushed through his letter box.”

Read more: News UK blasted by NFRN on newspaper margin cut

ACS chief executive James Lowman added: “Our sector has made repeated attempts to engage with the industry in order to promote good practice at each stage of the supply chain for a number of years now. Sadly, convenience retailers are still contending with inefficiencies in the supply chain, such as late deliveries, which have a negative impact on their business and their ability to provide newspapers to their local customers.

“We are keen to facilitate constructive discussions to ensure that any measures introduced serve to benefit all parties of the supply chain and encourage a positive relationship between publishers, wholesalers and retailers.”

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