As part of the first in a series of weekly how-to guides, RN looks at the growing opportunity to make – or save money – through sub-retailing agreements for news and magazines.

Carriage charges mean that for many retailers with small newsbills, it’s simply not economical to receive supplies direct from Smiths News or Menzies Distribution because any profit is wiped out.

The NFRN estimates that the current threshold is somewhere around the £140 mark and says that some 5,000 of its members may fall into that bracket.

For those retailers, news and magazines may still be a vital driver of footfall, but are effectively acting as a loss leader.

Others, of course, might opt for a less formal supply contract because of seasonal spikes in sales, like holiday parks for example.

Step 1 – Find a willing partner

The NFRN will assist through its Helpline service or for those who register online and so too will wholesalers, but only where retailers fall below its minimum service value.

In reality, any reasonably sized HND operator should be equipped to supply a store within its delivery patch.

There are a few formalities and both wholesalers request that they are informed of the arrangement and supplied with the shop name and address.

[pull_quote_left]Menzies – We will help retailers to manage unsolds and we would expect there to be a slightly higher rate of returns as a result of a sub-retailing contract[/pull_quote_left]

This is partly to ensure that territorial protection arrangements are not breached by copies from Menzies ending up with retailers who would usually be served by Smiths News.

Secondly, it will allow wholesalers to better manager supplies and levels of returns.

Menzies head of communications Dave Shedden says: “We will help retailers to manage unsolds and we would expect there to be a slightly higher rate of returns as a result of a sub-retailing contract.”

Step 2 – Negotiate your terms

Retailers have a huge amount of flexibility in negotiating terms and conditions.