Holding the front page for late-breaking news or the sports section for a report from a major sports fixture does not equate to extra sales and should be outlawed, nine out of 10 independents retailers say.

When asked by the NFRN if extensions to cut off times into wholesaler houses should be allowed, a whopping 92 per cent of respondents said no.

NFRN Head of News Brian Murphy said: “Too many retailers already receive their newspaper deliveries later than required which jeopardises revenues and sales. Extending the cut-off time for publishers by as much as 45 minutes when there is an international sports fixture piles even greater pressure on an already stretched supply chain and does little else than hamper the efforts of those who want to grow their HND sales.”

“What’s worse, these agreements are struck between publishers without any consultation with retailers.”

This NFRN poll sends a very clear message to publishers that extending the cut off time into depots makes it much harder for those at the sharp end to sell newspapers.  We want circulation departments to take this on board and warn their editorial colleagues that the evidence shows a requirement for newspapers to be printed earlier, not later, and unless the concerns of NFRN members are heeded that more news retailers than ever will be walking away from the category altogether so there will be fewer outlets available for their products to be stocked, whatever time of the morning that they arrive.

The poll of 300 news retailers was carried out on the NFRN’s website, NFRNOnline.com this month and coincided with a localised cut-off extension of 45 minutes in Swansea and Newport to enable publishers to include match coverage and analysis in their newspapers of the Wales v Ireland Rugby Six Nations match.

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