TI Media is encouraging readers of its Woman’s Own and Women Magazine titles to cut out their newsagents by purchasing copies directly from the company.
Full-page adverts on the latest issues of both women’s interest magazines offered customers a special subscription deal if they ordered their magazines direct.
According to Sam Coldbeck, from Wharfedale Premier in Hull, the move is a betrayal of newsagents who have supported the titles for 80 years.
“We are attracting customer sales and building loyalty, and then these companies essentially try to steal their customers with an unbelievable discount,” she told RN.
“What’s really hard to swallow this time is that a friend of mine called the subscription number and asked if she could have vouchers and get copies from her newsagent instead of having a direct delivery.
“The woman on the phone told her the company was trying to ‘quit newsagents and move sales to subscription’.”
NFRN’s head of news, Brian Murphy, said: “We are disappointed with the operator’s response, as subscriptions invariably hurt retailers. We understand this change is not their standing policy, and we continue to nurture our close relationship with TI Media.”
A TI Media spokesperson said: “There’s nothing new about us offering subscriptions for our magazines; in common with all other publishers, it’s incumbent on us to provide a competitive and innovative subscription offer for those customers who prefer that method of purchase, or to buy as a gift for someone else.
“At the same time, TI Media’s support for our colleagues in the newstrade continues to be both consistent and significant, as it has been over many years.
“We are driving subscribers who decide not to renew back to the newsstand, offering them exclusive discount vouchers which can be redeemed through independent newsagents. A trial is planned for early 2019.”