Stores supplied by Menzies face bill increases of up to £121 per year from April as the wholesaler announces its first carriage service charge (CSC) rise in two years.
The firm blamed wage increases, Brexit, Covid-19 and inflation for a 3.5% increase to come into effect from 9 April onwards. Stores with the smallest news bills will see their weekly CSC rise by £1.24 to £35.31 per week while those with the largest news bills face a £2.34 rise to paying £69.28 per week.
A letter sent to stores from Menzies’ newstrade managing director Grant Jordan said it worked to make sure ‘rate reviews are reasonable and fair’, referencing its decision in 2021 to freeze CSCs. However, stores disagreed. Hussan Lal, owner of Capital News in Paisley, Renfrewshire told RN: “We’re paying for service levels that we’re not receiving. Shopkeepers are already feeling the pinch, with more than four retail outlets closing every week in Scotland. Combined with other pressures, Menzies’ increase will knock out businesses.”
The NFRN’s national president Narinder Randhawa said it was “a bitter blow for Menzies Distribution’s retail customers as it comes at a time when our costs are spiralling out of control.”
He added: “Where are retailers supposed to find the cash to fund this increase? Wholesalers should be going to the publishers who not only control cover prices but the margins across the industry too.”
“There is no justification, especially as Menzies is failing to provide all members with a high level of service,” concluded Randhawa.