Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy is leading an attempt by the retailer to avoid a clash with publishers over magazine distribution. Leahy headed a delegation from Tesco which met representatives of the Newspaper Publishers Association this week. Tesco has upset publishers by agreeing a national distribution deal for magazines with wholesaler WH Smith News which would blow apart the current distribution system where each wholesaler has a monopoly in its territory. Publishers claim competition between wholesalers will result in higher prices for independent retailers, driving many of them out of the market. This would reduce customer choice and damage sales of both magazines and newspapers, they add. But Tesco has been frustrated by the antiquated systems of wholesalers, dealing with a plethora of wholesalers instead of one, and the fact they dictate the titles and quantities delivered to retailers. In a statement released after the meeting Tesco said it had agreed to consider proposals using the existing wholesaler network to deliver its requirements for a sales based replenishment system, better availability, reduced wastage, simplified administration and greater consumer choice. In addition, "Tesco agreed to consider to review the intended October deadline for implementation of the new supply arrangements while the talks take place". A Tesco spokeswoman denied the move was a climbdown by the retailer, and she said they would continue to work with WH Smith. Periodical Publishers Association chief executive Ian Locks welcomed the news. He said he was confident that plans already drawn up would satisfy Tesco's requirements. - Safeway became the third major retailer to agree a single supplier deal for magazines with WH Smith News, following Tesco and WH Smith Retail. Asda and Sainsbury denied they had similar plans. {{NEWS }}