First came news of Smiths’ Pass My Parcel collection network, then came Menzies’ FMCG delivery deal with RetailerSaver. This week, it’s News UK’s turn. It has announced plans to share its print and distribution costs with other publishers.
The plans unveiled by these three major newstrade players in the past month will, as Smiths MD Jon Bunting says, aim to help to secure the viability of the supply chain and bolster profit streams from non-newsstand products.
That the news supply chain needs to evolve is without question. That the news supply chain needs to evolve is without question. As Neville Rhodes wrote in his column last week, senior figures have implied that the current set-up cannot continue much longer.
Wholesalers need new revenue streams and to escape their dependency on disgracefully high carriage charges and profits reaped from a single category. They need to make better use of distribution networks and form contingency plans to offset a potential decline in news outlet numbers and rise in sub-retailing.
News UK’s plans recognise the need for it to play its part in creating a viable and economic supply chain.
But these initiatives will do little to fix the issues that retailers contend with every day.
While our news pages in the past month have been filled with newstrade initiatives, our letters pages have been overflowing with reports of late papers, damaged papers, hiked carriage charges and terms cuts, and this week is no different.
In its excitement about new opportunities, the newstrade must not fail to fix the core supply chain.