Newsquest cuts retailer margin

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Regional publisher Newquest has slashed the terms for retailers on its various publications, without any increases to cover prices.

The publisher has standardized the margin at 21 per cent which will take effect on 20 July.

On the Leigh Journal, the retail margin has been reduced to 21 per cent from 50 per cent, which means 15p less for retailers on each copy they sell.

The margin on five other titles published by Newsquest’s North West and North Wales division – the St Helens Star, the Messenger, Wirral Globe, Rhyl Journal and the Chester & District Standard – will be cut from 25 per cent to 21 per cent, resulting in retailers earning between 2p and 4p less per copy.

The publisher said the cut is essential to invest in a “sustainable future.”

“Retail margin reductions are never comfortable for retailer – or publisher – but the longevity of these titles is paramount,” Chris Strong, sales manager at Newquest, said in a letter to retailers.

“Local journalism is absolutely vital and we have fought for our communities for more than 100 years. We are determined to ensure we are still doing so long into the future and by reducing retail margins we can invest in a sustainable future.”

NFRN has condemned the move saying it has left retailers “reeling.”

“Terms reductions are unpalatable at the best of times but usually they occur alongside cover price increases. To make such a move without any price adjustment has left retailers reeling,” Stuart Reddish, national president of NFRN.

“Newsquest is demonstrating complete contempt for hard pressed and hard working newsagents by expecting them to take a massive hit.”