Newspapers and magazines


Independent retailers have “erupted in anger” over an online offer by the Daily Mail, according to the NFRN.

The offer, which was advertised in a pull-out supplement in the Daily Mail last week, said readers could subscribe to the digital edition for half the price of the print newspaper in shops.

The Mail Plus offer also allows readers to access the first edition shortly after it goes to print at around 11pm each night.

The NFRN said the offer showed a lack of respect for independent retailers when it is already the worst performing newspaper for delivery into stores.

“The Mail’s marketing of its digital edition shows a tremendous lack of respect for hardworking news retailers who almost daily are having to go out of their way to get the product into the hands of readers because it is consistently arriving late,” said NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter.

“For too long we have been castigating the Mail for its pitiful delivery performance and then it gives its loyal sellers another kick in the teeth by making its latest news available to digital subscribers as it rolls off the presses.”

The NFRN described the delivery performance of the Daily Mail as “lamentable” and said it missed the cut off deadline into news wholesalers 802 times between January and October this year. In 2015, the Daily Mail was late on 920 occasions.

“Through this despicable combination of a half-price digital offer and its poor service to the rest of the newstrade, the Mail is putting into jeopardy the home news delivery system, which previously it has praised as the lifeblood of the industry, thus deserting its army of committed readers, many of whom are elderly and infirm and were once deemed so important by the publisher,” said Baxter.

“This is a totally ill judged decision that the NFRN understands has been made by junior management. We would question whether owner Lord Rothermere is aware of how quite out of touch his employees are and why it is deemed acceptable that its digital operation is being subsidised by hardworking retailers.”

A spokesman for Mail Newspapers said: “Mail Plus is a paid digital subscription service launched in 2012 in response to feedback from our readers and it now has around 35k subscribers. We know that customers often enjoy Mail Plus while continuing to purchase print editions of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday and the service also offers an alternative option for readers who are unable to easily leave their homes or receive a regular home news delivery.

It’s also important to remember that,as well as being the UK’s most popular titles across print and digital, the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday continue to deliver higher Retail Sales Value for retailers than any of their competitors, at £400m annually, with The Daily Mail selling more copies on a Saturday than any other newspaper. We work hard to ensure our newspapers reach wholesalers as quickly as possible and, while we’re always aiming to improve, between January and October this year 99.4% of our deliveries arrived on time.”