Magazine titles included in publisher Egmont's second-class retailer scheme are returning to wholesalers too damaged to send onto independents, according to the NFRN. 

NFRN head of news Brian Murphy said magazines are often arriving at depots damaged and must be discarded. 

“Just this week, I have seen many magazines which are destined for re-distribution yet were in such a bad state that reusing them is highly unlikely,” he said. “It’s a fruitless waste of resources that can better be used elsewhere.”

NFRN president Mike Mitchelson added: “This has to be adding cost into the supply chain, but we are none the wiser over who is paying for the returns to be processed.”

A survey by the NFRN revealed 80% of retailers feel "let down" by Smiths News and Menzies Distribution complicity over the Egmont trial. 

Retailer Ray Monelle, from Everyday Orchard News in Western-Super-Mare, isn't surprised by the news. 

"It doesn’t surprise me that magazines are in terrible condition, and I will not be selling them,” he said. “As independent retailers, we don’t give our customers second-rate products.”