Comic publisher Egmont has been accused of reducing independent news stockists to second class retailers after launching a pilot scheme that sees two of its titles supplied to supermarkets first.

 

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All retailers were due to receive copies of Lego Star Wars and pre teen title Toxic. But from the next edition, supermarkets and multiple retailers who are served out of Menzies in Wakefield and Smiths News in Newcastle will be exclusively supplied with copies of these two titles first. Independent retailers in those areas will only receive their supply four weeks later and the copies they receive will be ones that have not sold in the larger stores and have been returned.

This trial was condemned at the NFRN’s September national council meeting in Leicester.

Read the full press release below.

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NFRN publishes Q&A guidance on Egmont publishing trial

20 September 2018

The NFRN has published a new Q&A guidance document to help answer any questions you may have regarding the Egmont publishing trial.

 

 

Take part in our Egmont Poll

 

 

What members are saying

Have your say by calling NFRN Connect on 0800 121 6376 (free from UK landline) or email connect@nfrn.org.uk 

Second hand magazines will come damaged and look pre-handled.

If publishers are looking to kill off independent newsagents this is a great way to go about it. When I first read about it I thought it was a joke. I’m astonished that having had time to reflect that Egmont are still intend on pressing ahead with the trial.

This will drive custom to the supermarkets. If rolled out, this will damage my trade significantly.

Publishers need to understand just how valuable independent retailers are to the industry. Independents are in all corners of the country where multiples are not. The proposals are insulting and disgusting and create a feeling that independents are second class retailers.

It’s a sad day for the newspaper and magazine industry that this proposal was even given the light of day. Where will this end?

My shop is in a small village around eight miles away from a supermarket or multiple so my customers will either have to wait longer to get the two titles or, what particularly concerns me, will cut him out and get them will their are doing their weekly shop.

Industry Views

 

NFRN condemns Egmont for game changer that reduces independent news stockists to second class retailers

7 September 2018

Comic publisher Egmont has been accused of reducing independent news stockists to second class retailers after launching a pilot scheme that sees two of its titles supplied to supermarkets first.

This week, all retailers were due to receive copies of Lego Star Wars and pre teen title Toxic. But from the next edition, supermarkets and multiple retailers who are served out of Menzies in Wakefield and Smiths News in Newcastle will be exclusively supplied with copies of these two titles first. Independent retailers in those areas will only receive their supply four weeks later and the copies they receive will be ones that have not sold in the larger stores and have been returned.

This trial was condemned at the NFRN’s national council meeting in Leicester this week (September 4 and 5).

Addressing national councillors, NFRN National President Mike Mitchelson denounced the move as “hare-brained”, adding that it would reduce independent news stockists to “second class retailers”.

“Egmont and Seymour are looking at an experiment of putting copies into supermarkets exclusively and following the recall after four weeks distributing the returns to independent outlets.  This is wrong and ludicrous and we should not be treated as second class retailers”, Mr Mitchelson said.

Both Egmont and Seymour, who distribute the two titles, had been challenged by the NFRN and it would continue to make forceful representations to get the companies to think again, Mr Mitchelson continued.

Remonstrations would also be made to the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) and to the Press Distribution Forum (PDF) as the pilot represented a major shift in the way that magazines are distributed.

NFRN Head of News Brian Murphy added: “This is a real game changer. Egmont is actually discriminating against independent retailers and that is totally unacceptable.

“It could also have repercussions for consumers too as it’s a well known fact that many comics are bought by mums and their children at their local independent store. As a result of this trial, consumers could unwittingly, but easily, buy the same edition twice. The independent retailer will then be the one who has to refund them.

“I’m sure that the CMA will be interested to hear of our concerns, especially about the negative impact this will have on the consumer.”

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