Independent retailers are being locked out of lucrative specialist magazine sales as distributors prioritise supermarkets, a newsagent has told RN. 

Mark Ansell, of Liskeard News in Cornwall, said he cannot order the latest edition of the popular quarterly MCN Sport magazine through his wholesaler, Smiths News, but the title is on the shelves in local supermarkets.  

“The local Asda is full of them, but Smiths removed the magazines without notification from my usual standing order. Smiths say it is not their decision which retailers the titles are made available to.”

A spokesperson for the magazine’s distributor, Frontline, said: “On this occasion, due to print restrictions, if independent stores have not made a hard order for this issue then we would not actively push it out to them.”

Mr Ansell said there was no notification from Smiths that independents would have to make a special request to obtain the magazine. “I stock 2,000 titles – there’s no way I’d be able to call to make individual orders each time a specialist title comes out,” he said.  

He added the decision was affecting sales. “Customers are unhappy, because they expect me to be able to stock it. They bought it in Asda instead.”

Mr Ansell said he contacted the publisher and was told there will be a second distribution of the magazine. 

“It’s too late then, because my customers will have shopped elsewhere,” he said. 

Smiths News did not respond to a request for comment.