Smiths News has said newspapers and magazine deliveries remain “at the forefront of its operation” despite the expansion into the Midlands of its bread delivery programme.

The wholesaler began delivering bread to supermarkets from its Hornsey depot in North London in July, but has recently started making the deliveries from its Nottingham depot as well. This is in addition to vehicles also being used for Pass My Parcel deliveries.

Steve Archer, who owns Premier stores in Staffordshire and Cheshire, said at the NFRN’s national council meeting last week: “More than half of my driver’s deliveries are parcels. The other day he told me he had already been to three stores which were non-news before getting to us. 

“It is deplorable we are paying £57 a week and maybe getting late deliveries.”

A Smiths spokeswoman said: “We can categorically confirm our news and mags policy remains unchanged and that these deliveries are at the forefront of our operation at all times.

“Where we are operating bread deliveries alongside our regular news and mags, we can also confirm that our operation is tracked and measured against our Required Delivery Times (RDTs) to make sure we are consistently within the timescales agreed.”