Following a pledge at this year’s Annual Conference  to improve communication between the NFRN and its industry partners, National President Mike Mitchelson (pictured) held the first of his presidential meetings with senior representatives from Smiths News on Tuesday (October 9).

As Mr Mitchelson explained back in June, these meetings with publishers, distributors and news wholesalers are designed to ensure that NFRN members’ issues are highlighted and at the forefront of all industry discussions.

Mr Mitchelson was joined by national vice president Stuart Reddish, head of news Brian Murphy and news operations manager Pete Williamson, while the Smiths News’ delegation included its CEO Jon Bunting.  A busy agenda was covered off, which enabled the NFRN to share its thoughts and opinions on carriage charges, Egmont’s two tier distribution trial, and industry performance.

The meeting was positive and both parties agreed to a closer and more transparent working relationship to assist the NFRN’s membership. During discussions, Smiths News shared data which highlighted that when compared to other independent retailers the NFRN represents  54% of all independent sales, and outperforms them in terms of sales of newspapers, magazines, and collectables.

After the meeting, Mr Mitchelson said: “This is the first of many executive meetings I have planned and if they are all as positive as this one, we should see our centenary year as being the start of a new way of working with our partners as the NFRN becomes more business focused in order to help our members overcome the challenges they face in the difficult current trading environment.

“Smiths News shared some interesting data which shows how important the NFRN and its members are to the market and we want to build on this going forward.”

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