EVERYONE connected to the News Trade Industry is well aware that Brian Webb from HNDA has on record stated the only way for success within the trade is for all three parties to work together and row the boat in the same direction. Many people over the years have taken a “pop” at our friend Webbo, but time after time he continually proves them all wrong, and that situation has arisen yet again!

Over five years ago, Webbo put the following on his old site:

 It’s time to wake up, its time fight these people, if all Publishers and indeed Wholesalers continue to fail to recognize the importance of working with the newsagents is the only way forward for the News Trade Industry then its their prerogative, but the days of allowing them to dictate, demoralize, and insult the newsagent with decreasing profit margins, insulting handling allowances on supplements, vouchers, and third party inserts has to stop, and STOP now. Failure will undoubtedly find some Newsagents outlets dropping news altogether, which eventually will see the number of titles being drastically reduced with some Publishers going out of business!

Strong words some said, but then again the truth always is, and this is the sole reason why this website has today decided to allow Webbo to take over this story, that will undoubtedly surprise many, but to the experienced news trade experts this will be no shock.

What’s happened over the past week just shows the News Trade Industry has NOT learnt its lesson, and will continue to slide into the wrong direction unless this time Newsagents / Retailers start showing some of their own power and demonstrate their strength in numbers.

There comes a times when enough is enough, and this time one Wholesaler has walked over the boundary line, well let’s just say SMITHS NEWS has!

It appears all Smiths News customers received a letter this weekend outlining their proposals for the forth coming yearly carriage charge increases, or in this years case a decrease. However, the wholesaler has come up with a gimmick which is merely trying to pull wool over retailer’s eyes, by offering them the chance to make a choice.

(1) To stay on the current delivery charge for the next two years, meaning no increases during this period.

(2)  Make the decision to go with the flow and receive a small decrease this year, knowing an increase is in line the following year.

Here we have the Country’s largest wholesaler trying every trick in the book to “hoodwink” newsagents and retailers in believing they are looking after our best interests.

Here we have a Wholesaler who on CHRISTMAS DAY takes £215 thousand pounds of Newsagents money when NO newspapers are PRINTED and Smiths News operation doesn’t even turn a wheel!

Yes, Brian Webb did take Smiths News to court over this issue last October, and during this time Menzies Wholesalers knowing this procedure was flawed that they changed their carriage charge contract for their customers so Christmas day charge was no longer an issue.

Smiths News hoodwinked the judge after convincing him that they were NOT a monopoly and Mr Webb could get an alternative supplier 60 miles away! And it was a weekly carriage charge, not daily, and it’s just unfortunate Christmas day falls during a particular week! The fight still goes on to this day.

Here we have a Wholesaler who is trying every trick in the book to safeguard their current 1.5 million pounds revenue a week in carriage charges.

Here we have a Wholesaler who employs cheap foreign labour whereby so many deliver your supplies in vehicles that can only be described as “rust buckets”!

Here we have a wholesaler who has just made 70 staff redundant at Peterborough, moving the magazine side to Birmingham 70 miles away!

So at the end of the day, its up to every Smiths News Newsagent / Retailer to make their own decision of the way forward, but please remember Smiths News are NOT giving you anything, merely safe guarding their own back pockets. If you decide to freeze your carriage charges for two years, rest assure in year three you will be crushed big time! You have been warned!

STILL not to be out done, one Publisher pulled another trick last week that defies the logic of being classed as normal!

The Publisher concerned showed its nonchalance attitude by increasing the cover price of the Angling Times by one pound, simply because it was giving away a FREE gift, but reverted back to the original price this week. Newsagents have reported customers cancelling the regular copy simply because they objected to the publishers increasing the price for a supposed FREE gift they never wanted!

 THAT’S THE NEWS TRADE FOR YOU!