Smiths News’ depot at Newport was among the worst hit during the cold snap as the wholesaler decided not to send out newspapers citing “health and safety” reasons.

However, it has come under fire for failure to effectively communicate the decision through its wholesale app SNapp to retailers who were left without newspapers on Friday 2 March and the following day. 

Mark Dudden of Albany News at the Post Office, Cardiff, said: “I understand the health and safety concerns, but Smiths could have communicated it better. It wants us to use SNapp, but didn’t use it to tell us itself.”

The Taunton depot in the south west was also badly hit. 

Smiths News said it managed to complete 97% of deliveries over the worst four days and added it is delaying payments due from indies as the “unprecedented” Newport closure held up returns. 

Smiths’ chief operating officer Jonathan Bunting said: “Ensuring newspapers were delivered where possible, while guaranteeing the safety of our colleagues, is a difficult balance to strike when faced with adverse weather.”