Retailers are losing up to £250 a day in sales due to severely late deliveries in the southeast, following Menzies’ new distribution deal with Reach inked last month.

Menzies won the contract to distribute Reach’s newspaper titles from print sites to wholesaler warehouses, taking over from CIVA Logistics.

Since then, retailers in the Ashford, Eastbourne, and Newport areas have constantly been affected by late deliveries.

Hitesh Pandya, who owns Toni’s News in Ramsgate, says the logistical issues are affecting his revenue and his staff.

“Every day that my papers are late, I lose around £250 in sales,” he said. “I’ve had queues of customers waiting for papers in the morning that are arriving two-and-a- half hours late.

“Even worse, I have five delivery people standing around for more than an hour every day waiting for the papers so they can deliver them, which costs me at least £35 a day in extra costs. These people have other jobs or school to get to, and I have already had three deliverers quit who I haven’t been able to replace,” he added.

Local retailers said the late deliveries are caused by congestion on the roads between the Mirror’s print site and Menzies’ Ashford depot. This, in turn, delays delivery rounds that go out to newsagents.

There have been roadworks taking place on the M20 motorway since July, but Menzies has not been able to successfully plan around them.

“John Howard from the Mirror was very nice and called me to apologise for the issues, but the truth is that, for a logistics company, Menzies has been utterly unable to deal with the issues that have been plaguing their delivery routes,” said Pandya.

Peter Williamson, news operation manager at NFRN, said: “We are working closely with Menzies in order to improve the situation.”

A Menzies spokesperson said: “We are not aware of any issues with late deliveries in those areas, but our customer services centre will look into this further.”

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