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Almost three weeks after speculation first arose over the removal of News International’s bulks, the publisher has confirmed that it has cancelled its contracts to supply heavily discounted copies of The Times and Sunday Times to airlines and hotels.
The move will take effect from January and it’s widely expected that Telegraph Media Group will follow suit, leaving the Financial Times, the Mail and the Independent as the only UK nationals to distribute bulks.
Hopefully, for the independent retailer’s sake, the tightening of publishers’ belts to remove freebie copies will see a return to targeting more sales through the newsstand – much like the ongoing work of Associated Newspapers to increase the number of home news delivery customers for its Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. But as a commenter on my last blog on bulks pointed out, there is a lot of work to do and bridges to be built between independents and the industry. “There is still an army of independent retailers out there waiting to be motivated by fair and consistent treatment, accompanied by a reasonable reward,” he said.
Here’s hoping the supply chain can work together to ensure the future of print media.
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