The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) has expressed frustration and dismay at the Scotsman’s decision to raise the cover price on all editions and cut retail terms.
From Monday July 3, the cover price of weekday editions will rise 20p to £2.20, while the Saturday newspaper will rise 20p to £2.70. At the same time, the retail margin will be reduced to 22 per cent.
The announcement came just one week after members of the Fed had returned from the organisation’s Annual Conference. At this conference, new National President Muntazir Dipoti had pledged members’ support for the news industry and said he looked forward to working with publishers and news wholesalers to promote the category to ensure its long-term survival.
“Receiving news of the terms cut on the Scotsman is not how I would have liked to have started my term as National President,” he said.
“I can only urge other publishers to consider not only the effect these price increases have on their readership numbers, but also how retailers are affected by the cuts to margin.”
The Fed’s head of news Brian Murphy added: “This is a no-win situation. At a time when everyone is struggling to pay soaring bills, the 20p a day price rise will hit readers in their pockets and the 0.5 per cent cut in margin will have a serious impact on retailers. The Scotsman should recognise that in these challenging times, some of its stockists may decide to give the title less prominence in their stores so they can focus on products with more attractive margins.
“We are both frustrated and dismayed at these actions, especially given that rival titles, the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, have both increased their cover prices by 10p per day, yet maintained the retail percentage margin, while Scotland on Sunday’s forthcoming price rise will also be accompanied by pro-rata terms. Doing this demonstrates that these publishers recognise the support they receive from their retail partners. The Scotsman’s publisher, National World, would do well to take notice of this and ensure that, going forward, when cover prices rise, that retailers are properly rewarded for the hard work they do.”