Late deliveries could be costing HND retailers more than £2m in “lost” wages paid to delivery staff waiting for delayed newspapers, store owners told RN.

Speaking at the NFRN Eastern Counties district council meeting, Ralph Childs, of Childs Newsagents in Burgh Castle, Norfolk, said retailers in the federation alone could be paying out £2.29m annually in wasted wages.

After suffering late deliveries on 116 days between May and September this year, Mr Childs calculated the cost of paying staff for the hours spent waiting for the newspapers to arrive would amount to £873 annually.

He said if that was the case for all 2,600 NFRN members who offer an HND service, it would add up to a combined wage bill of £2.29m.

Gerald Thomas, of Arcade News in Ammanford, South Wales, employs 11 newspaper staff and agreed the problem is “frustrating”.

“Sundays in particular have been getting worse and they’ve been arriving at least 45 minutes late in the last three weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile John Vine, of Newsworld in Church Stretton, Shropshire, said he has to let his delivery staff leave at 7.30am to get to school and is forced to spend money on petrol to carry out the rounds himself.