EXCLUSIVE: Menzies commits to sustainable supply chain

Speaking exclusively to betterRetailing, the wholesaler’s new group operations director, Rick Jones, and operations director, Ian Nesbit, said they hoped the changes would maximise the quality of services for retailers


Recent appointments within Menzies’ leadership team will add services to ensure the news supply chain is more sustainable.

“The key achievement will be ensuring the long-term sustainability of the newstrade supply chain through diversification,” they said. “We are committed to the newstrade, and will ensure retail customers are well-served by a best-in-class operation across the network.”

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Jones and Nesbit revealed they would achieve their goal by fulfilling more parts of the new supply chain, trunking on behalf of retailers and moving into adjacent markets, though they did not specify which in particular when pressed.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Menzies Distribution picked up new temporary contracts including delivering coronavirus tests, providing urgent PPE and NHS supplies to hospitals, and supplying 500 One Stop stores from its national distribution centre in Coventry. The news wholesaler had also expressed interest in playing a part in Scotland’s bottle deposit return scheme, due to launch in 2022.

Menzies’ focus on diversification represents a move in the opposite direction to that of its rival Smiths News, which has only just finished offloading non-news supply related arms of its business.

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The operations directors said they would also continue to review route scheduling and ensuring health standards were adhered to.

When asked about the impact on retailers of the recent decision to move magazine packing from Linwood to Wakefield, the pair said “no difference will have been seen” by customers and “there has been no negative impact on distribution”.

In response to the latest pledges, NFRN national president Stuart Reddish said he had contacted Menzies to ensure involvement from members in the upcoming changes.

“We are keen to see that they do not take their eye off the ball in respect of the service, ensuring that any reported failings are addressed within the industry rule of 48 hours,” he said.

Find out more on our coronavirus information hub for retailers


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