Wholesalers have shunned responsibility for lobbying publishers for better terms as retailers were denied more than £3m potential annual profit in the latest round of newspaper margin cuts.
It comes in the week Trinity Mirror raised the price of the weekday Mirror by 5p to 65p and the Saturday edition by 10p to £1, and News UK raised the weekday price of The Sun and The Scottish Sun by 10p to 50p.
Combined, the increase will earn more than £9m, but margin cuts across all titles will strip retailers of more than £3.2m potential profit, according to RN’s calculations.
Defending News UK’s move, Greg Deacon, independent sales manager said: “It’s not a lost margin because of the amount News UK invests in proactively promoting our titles through promotions and our support for retailers. Last year we invested more than £4m to help drive sales through newsstands.”
Meanwhile, John Howard, newspaper sales director at Trinity Mirror said: “The Daily Mirror offers the highest pence per copy of all the mid-and popular tabloids. Falling newsprint advertising and declining circulation volumes mean we have had to – and will continue to – put in place massive cost initiatives which obviously include redundancies on a large scale.
Wholesalers should stand up to the publishers because we can’t and they have more standing as they are the only route to market for publishers
“Despite all of these, we are unable to prevent a margin adjustment.”
Retailers this week called on wholesalers to help push publishers for better margins.
Naresh Purohit, of Marseans in Dartford, Kent, said: “Wholesalers should stand up to the publishers because we can’t and they have more standing as they are the only route to market for publishers.”
However, Menzies and Smiths News said the decision to change retailers’ margins lies with publishers.
Jon Bunting, managing director of Smiths News owner Connect News & Media, said: “Publishers are always mindful of getting the balance right between the increased cash margin a retailer receives versus the percentage margin.”
Menzies Distribution, meanwhile, said its lobbying focused on areas where publishers’ actions directly impacts service, such as the timings of inbound deliveries.