Sir; The high street is witnessing the return of the multiples, which left it many years ago to concentrate on out-of-town supermarkets and hypermarkets.
In the past couple of years, The Co-operative Group has taken over Alldays and Tesco has acquired T&S Stores. Only last week it was announced that Tesco intends to buy Adminstore, while several groups, including Somerfield and Big Food Group, are interested in acquiring Londis.
In addition, in the past few years the big supermarket groups have started developing smaller stores in the high street.
Various companies and associations have alerted the Office of Fair Trading and the government to the multiples’ growing domination. There is no doubt that all these stores will sell newspapers and magazines and therefore represent a threat to members of the NFRN.
The NFRN has a crucial role to play in the survival and growth of local news retailers. The convenience sector is underpinned by two core products: news and magazines.
Our members have to understand that to attract customers they have to present equally attractive stores. The message is simple: refit to keep fit. Over the many years I have been involved in the federation I have not seen a single member who has regretted having a refit.
News retailers need determination, willpower and unity of purpose to accept the challenges they face in this fiercely competitive market.