Sir; I have read with interest your recent articles on the newstrade (for example, ‘Uncomfortable reading matter’, The Grocer, May 28, p28).
We are an independent newsagents based in Thamesmead, south east London. We agree the livelihood of a number of small businesses could be at risk owing to plans to end wholesale monopoly in magazine distribution. However, the fact is many more newsagents have closed down because of exorbitant delivery charges, excessive unsolicited replies and poor levels of service from wholesalers.
We stock a vast range of newspapers and magazines and aim to provide exceptional service to our customers, Our professionalism has consistently been recognised by the industry through numerous awards. Reluctantly, we had to discontinue our home news delivery service because of late delivery of newspapers.
It is a sad reflection on our industry that it has required government intervention to solve problems that should have been resolved by a voluntary code of practice signed by all interested parties.
A heavy price will have to be paid for an enforced solution by a body that has very little understanding of the publishing industry, where all except frontline supermarkets and multiples will be losers.