The company, which has 50,000 retail customers, has put the arrangements for more than 400 weekly and monthly titles, including Hello and Men’s Health, up for tender.
IT director Andy Webster said: “We are throwing the net wide. Obviously those previously handling delivery, such as WH Smith News Distribution and Dawson News, will be in the running.” But he said the company also used regional wholesalers and grocery wholesalers would not be ruled out.
The news follows the DTI’s announcement in March that exclusive territory contracts between publishers and wholesalers could be challenged under EU law from May 2005. The move could make it easier for grocery retailers and distributors to gain contracts to deliver magazines if the exclusive vertical agreements were contested.