Retailers in Northern Ireland and Scotland have been hit the hardest by recent changes to trunking by Menzies.
Menzies is now responsible for the primary trunking of the majority of magazines in the UK, as well as Reach and News UK national and regional titles.
David Woodrow, owner of Woodrow’s in Bishopton told betterRetailing that he has been experiencing missing copies and late deliveries since Menzies took over trunking at its Coventry depot.
“In the past supplies came direct from publishers into my Linwood depot, but now they are transported by Menzies into Coventry and they make up what we need,” he said. “Linwood is the only magazine hub in Scotland so if they don’t get them in it creates real problems. for us”
Last week, Woodrow complained of receiving missing copies of Woman’s Own and Closer.
“We expected the magazines to be there on the Wednesday, but they didn’t arrive, so I phoned Menzies and was promised that they would get them out to us,” he explained.
“But they still didn’t appear. I phoned again and when they eventually arrived, they’d only sent five out of each. I did manage to establish that 20 other shops didn’t receive them but that means that others did, which is detrimental to those who don’t have them.”
He expressed concern that he is losing customers as a result of the ongoing issues. “We are in a declining market, so every copy is precious to us,” he said. “People are creatures of habit so if two of the biggest women’s weekly titles aren’t available to customers, they will get their magazines somewhere else.”
Judith Mercer, owner of Hamilton News in Belfast, has criticised Menzies over its lack of communication regarding an ‘alleged’ day of sale change for What’s on TV and TV Times.
“We’ve been getting really late deliveries of these two magazines and I believe the issue has been caused because of the new change in delivery,” she said.
“But when I phoned up my Belfast depot, they advised me that the date of sale for each would be changing from a Tuesday to a Wednesday.”
However, NFRN’s head of newspapers and magazines Brian Murphy told betterRetailing that distributor Marketforce denied the date of sale change.
“I pushed back to Marketforce and they said it isn’t the case,” he said. “The supply chain has consolidated so much that the distribution to Coventry has become a big undertaking.”
When betterRetailing contacted TI Media for comment, a spokesperson said they would be contacting Menzies over the issue.
“Having worked with Lucid before, we re-looked at how the current supply chain could deliver products that have been requested by retailers.”
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