The newsagents’ trade body has warned of a newspaper sales slump in its members’ stores unless the industry does more to “promote print”.
The National Federation of Retail Newsagents says newsstands will be “placed further back” in shops unless publishers show their print titles are “loved and nurtured”.
The criticism comes amid a call by the NFRN for Reach plc to “properly reward” retailers after the organisation discovered that a cover price rise on the Daily Record will be accompanied with a cut in the margin that its stockists receive to 20 per cent.
The Monday to Friday price of the Glasgow-based Record has increased by five pence to 85p as of yesterday, but the NFRN says retailers will receive 17p per copy sold, instead of 17.68p, because the percentage margin is dropping from 20.8 per cent.
The Saturday price of the paper will also increase by 10p to £1.30 which means retailers will receive 26p for every copy sold, rather than the 26.78p they would have received had pro rata terms been maintained.
NFRN national president Stuart Reddish said: “This latest move by Reach gives retailers yet another reason to give greater attention to higher margin categories and give these products more space in store to maintain or grow their bottom line.
“At a time when innovation in the market is few and far between, meaning that ongoing reasons for readers to purchase a newspaper are, sadly, lacking is it any wonder that the news category is becoming less relevant in independent retailers’ stores?
“We need the industry to promote print to our members and to their readers to ensure that newspapers are front of mind, loved and nurtured.
“The reality, otherwise, is that newsstands will be placed further back in our members’ stores and sales will fall yet further.”
Mr Reddish said he was keen to meet with senior Reach circulation personnel to discuss the change and “explore ways in which both parties can work together to continue to promote the Daily Record to ensure that readers still purchase it despite the extra cost to them and the decreased percentage copy margin to the retailer”.
Reach plc declined to comment when approached by HTFP.