Independent retail representatives are pressing the Office of Fair Trading to explain face to face its decision to revise its initial draft opinion on newstrade distribution.
The OFT said it would publish a fresh draft in May, following responses to the original paper issued last May. More talks would follow and its final opinion would be published in the autumn.
The Association of News Retailing, the arm of the Association of Convenience Stores dealing with newstrade issues, scorned the move. It supported the OFT's original proposals that would enable retailers to escape the exclusive territories operated by magazine wholesalers and approach whoever they wished to supply their magazines.
As The Grocer went to press, the ANR had received no response to its request for a meeting with the OFT. Industry sources suggested that the OFT's views on the newstrade were delayed until after its proposal to refer the grocery retail market to the Competition Commission. The Department of Trade and Industry is working with the National Federation of Retail Newsagents on a code of conduct for newstrade distribution, which could make enforced changes unnecessary.