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    Newspapers go Grinchy for Christmas

    The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) has accused newspaper publisher Reach plc of acting like Scrooge, after it announced imminent increases to the cover prices of its national titles.

    From January 1, editions of the Daily and Sunday Mirror, as well as the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, will all go up in price by 10p per copy. The cover price of the Daily and Sunday Express will increase by 10p, with Saturday editions going up by 15p.

    The Daily Star price will also increase by 5p on midweek editions and by 10p on Saturday and Sunday, with the Sunday People also costing an extra 10p.

    However, the price increases will not include pro rata profit margins for retailers – a move that has angered Fed members within the news trade.

    “We are very disappointed with the latest announcement from Reach. In their trade letter they closed off by thanking retailers for their ‘much valued support’ – we would have preferred a pro rata terms adjustment as a more acceptable thank you,” said The Fed’s National President, Muntazir Dipoti.

    “Whilst we appreciate that trading conditions are tough for everyone, our members are the last link in the supply chain and the most vital. Without us, there are no sales.

    “We are seeking an immediate meeting with senior Reach management to make our feelings known and to recoup the lost margins this latest move has created,” he added.

    Meanwhile, news retailers will finally see a return to their original profit margins on copies of daily and weekend editions of The Times.

    Publisher News UK increased its cover prices on The Times in June, but reduced retailers’ profit margins and deferred a return to the original margins for six months, using subscription dates as the reason why.

    The Fed’s head of news Brian Murphy said: “It was grossly unfair to delay paying retailers their fair dues, particularly on countertop sales where there was no justification for delaying the increase.”

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