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    Fed lambasts margin cuts on i, Guardian

    Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

    Independent retailers are once again being hit by further newspaper cover price increases, combined with lower profit margins, just in time for the New Year, the Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) said.

    The trade body revealed that the Saturday and Sunday editions of The Mail will go up in price from December 30, as will the same publisher’s i newspaper.

    However, while the changes to The Mail are supported with pro rata profit margin increases, the i newspaper price increase will see retailers’ margin cut from 22 per cent to 21.5 per cent for the Monday to Friday editions, putting it in line with the weekend edition.

    Also, the Guardian and Observer have advised that, from January 6, the Monday to Friday and Saturday editions, plus the Observer on Sunday, will all increase by 20p for each day.

    However, with all these editions, retailers will see a cut of 1 per cent on Monday to Friday editions, 0.5 per cent on Saturdays and 1 per cent on Sundays.

    The Fed’s national president Muntazir Dipoti voiced his and Fed members’ disappointment that all the hard work retailers put into selling these products, particularly over the festive period when many are open throughout, are rewarded by a cut to the margin paid for selling them.

    “I strongly recommend all our members to look into their news content, as these constant price increases without pro rata margins will not only affect overall profits within the shop but also put brand loyalty at risk,” Dipoti said.

    Brian Murphy, the Fed’s head of news, added: “We are not against sensible cover price increases, however it is only correct that retailers get their fair share. I urge members to take this opportunity to evaluate their newspaper fixtures to make informed decisions on which titles to support.

    “Additionally, retailers should direct any dissatisfied readers to the publisher and consider offering them a print subscription to ensure their continued patronage.”

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