News UK’s delivery fee has come under fire, as the publisher plans to raise its wholesale carriage charges to stores it delivers to in and around London, adding to increasing costs woes for retailers. 

The publisher is planning a 1.57% hike in its daily delivery charges for its direct-to-retail accounts inside the M25 from Monday 3 February. 

Peter Wagg, of News On The Wharf, said: “It’s a double whammy for us. We’ve have to pay two lots of carriage charges to our main wholesaler, Menzies, whose carriage charges aren’t cheap by any means, as well as News UK. 

“It’s more expensive to operate and, with the fall in newspaper sales, this is just accelerating the decline in the viability of selling newspapers.”  

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Wagg added that even though he sub-wholesales to supply his other shops, the cost of news deliveries was still becoming difficult to manage.

NFRN national president Stuart Reddish said: “There is already clear evidence of retailers departing the category and this latest – and very unwelcome – carriage charge increase will only exacerbate this situation.” 

A News UK spokesperson cited vehicle operating costs, rising wages, service improvements and London emission charges for the rise, but said it had “minimised the cost for retailers” by eating some of the cost itself. “This year’s increase represents the minimised increase of 4p per day which equates to less than £15 annually,” it explained.

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