The NFRN is looking to raise concerns about ever increasing carriage charges in parliament following announcements that retail customers of Menzies Distribution and EM News are to pay more to receive their news products from April 8 2017.

NFRN Chief Executive Paul Baxter said: “The NFRN held a very successful parliamentary reception in Westminster on February 21 2017 when we made MPs and Lords aware of the many issues facing independent retailers from the news supply chain from increasing carriage charges to poor service.  Following this reception we are talking to sympathetic MPs and are planning to host a reception of likeminded people later in the year to discuss what more can be done to ease the burden of carriage charges on independent retailers.”

Mr Baxter continued: “Unfortunately, following the announcements from Menzies Distribution and EM News, most stores will see their carriage charges going up and we are already hearing of inconsistent pricing when these charges are compared to those of other wholesalers for the same service. News wholesalers have to recognise that year in year out increases in carriage charges with no consultation with those who are going to be affected has to stop.  Until this happens or an alternative model is put in place there will be further challenges surrounding retailers’ long term commitment to the category.

“Retailers do not expect their supplies to be delivered for nothing, but if these continual increases are applied without greater thought and a commitment to remodel the supply chain operation so it better suits today’s purposes then it will all be too late . News is vying for the same space and often the same consumer spend yet it continues to believe that monopolistic mindsets are still best.”

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