Smiths News has launched a deferred payments scheme for collectable deliveries to “help boost customer profits”.

Under the scheme, stores can stock expensive collectable editions without payment until four weeks after receipt.

Smiths News chief executive Jonathan Bunting said the change would alleviate cash-flow problems that prevent smaller independents from making the most of the category.

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He explained: “Stores have the opportunity to sample products and see if they are popular over a four-week period.”

The wholesaler previously admitted it needed to do more to help stores after being challenged by betterRetailing as to how it was working to improve retailer margins.

Responding to the announcement, Dipak Shah, of H&R News in Camberley, Surrey, told betterRetailing: “We sell collectables, but I don’t think this will be that beneficial, as we don’t sell huge amounts. However, for those stores that are or could be selling large volumes, it will help.”

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Peter Robinson, of Castle Stores in Pembroke, argued such deferred payments schemes can prove complicated to manage and said he decides what to stock without regard to credit arrangements.

However, he admitted: “It could be encouragement for retailers to try products they would not otherwise stock. If you are doing very little with collectables and you are given a month’s credit, you might be influenced to try them.”

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