NFRN accuses Reach of making April fools of news retailers

The NFRN has accused the publisher of the Daily Express and Daily Star of turning news stockists into April fools after announcing that it is raising the cover price of both titles but reducing the retailer margin.

NFRN accuses Reach of making April fools of news retailers
Mike Mitchelson: “Reach has landed yet another body blow on its supply chain partners.”

According to the NFRN, from next Monday (April 1), the price of weekday editions of the Daily Express moves to 65p, with Reach advising that retailers will now receive 14.3p for every copy sold. From Saturday April 6 the newspaper will cost £1, with the retail margin rising to 20.6p, and from Sunday April 7 the cover price increases to £1.60. Retailers will earn 32.96p.

From that same weekend the Saturday edition of the Daily Star will rise to 70p while the Daily Star Sunday will now cost £1.10, with retailers receiving 22.66.

What Reach spectacularly fails to mention, says the NFRN, in any of its communication to retailers is that the percentage margin on Monday to Friday editions of the Daily Express is being cut to 22 per cent and to 20.60 per cent for its weekend publications and for the Saturday Daily Star. The percentage margin that retailers will receive on the Daily Star on Sunday is falling further – to 20.54 per cent.

This latest move comes soon after Reach raised the cover price of weekday editions of the Daily Mirror but cut terms to 20.80 per cent.

It also comes just one year after terms on both the Daily Star and Daily Express were cut from 24.2 per cent to 22.5 per cent for weekday editions and 21 per cent for its weekend titles.

Commenting, National President Mike Mitchelson said: “By again choosing to cut the retailer’s percentage terms - this time down to as little as 20.54 per cent - Reach has landed yet another body blow on its supply chain partners.

“Through its action, Reach is making news retailers look like April fools but we are not prepared to stand for this. There will be a full debate on what action we can take against dwindling margins at our forthcoming national council meeting.

“In the same month that we are expected to earn less from both the Express and Star titles we will be having to pay more in payroll costs as a result of increases to the national minimum wage and living wage rates and Menzies customers will be paying more for the privilege of having their newspaper delivered.

“The NFRN is left with no choice but to equip its members with the necessary tools to enable them to evaluate the space and positioning that they give to these titles and focus on other products that give them a better return.”