Retailers were dealt a further body blow this week after News UK announced that the cover price of the Saturday Times was rising by 20p to £1.90 but at the same time there was to be a drop in margin from 21.5 per cent to 21 per cent.
The news came less than a week after it was revealed that both weekday and weekend editions of the Daily Express and Daily Star were increasing in price but retail terms had been slashed to 22.5 per cent for Monday to Friday publications and 21 per cent for Saturday and Sunday copies.
Commenting, NFRN National President Linda Sood said: “News retailers are getting heartily sick of this follow my leader mentality that publishers are now adopting by accompanying price rises with a cut in our terms.
“News UK attempts to justify its actions by promising greater investment in its product but that could be to little avail when it is yet further eroding any goodwill and trading relationship that the newspaper enjoyed with its stockists and they choose to give less prominence to the title in store.
“Just recently, I was at News UK’s offices meeting senior executives where I took the opportunity to explain the difficult financial market that our 15,000 members were operating in.
“While they appeared to be listening carefully it is obvious now that they were just paying lip service and our concerns have been consigned to the dustbin.
“Coming just a matter of days after similar action on the Express and Star titles, this gives us yet more ammunition for our bid to get the Cairncross review into the future sustainability of national and local newspapers extended so the whole news supply chain comes under scrutiny.”
Trade letter and price & barcode information
The price change on The Times Saturday is effective from Saturday 7 April 2018.