Over the past three weeks the News Trade Industry has emphasized most strongly that its continuing  its slippery slide of self destruction, with one Publisher deciding to increase the prices of 47 local titles and drastically cutting retailers terms without having the “balls” to be honest and upfront.

Johnson Press new Publishers of the I daily paper committed suicide with the local papers, because no newsagent in their right minds will support those titles, especially after JP had the gull to remark they were convinced the Newsagent will support them over these moves. The move emphasized most strongly that Johnson Press had decided to make this move, knowing these titles were already for the scrap heap, and with this move they could blame us Newsagents for not supporting them. They can stick their 10% where the sun doesn’t shine!

Then everyone was cock a hoop  with News UK putting the Sunday Sun up 10p with 21.0% pro rata terms, that’s all very well and appreciated, BUT, some people have short memories so lets not forget the terms they had previously taken away from us!  It’s all very well increasing prices, and yes they are giving these new “fivers” away to try and increase sales, but increasing prices is fine providing the paper remains value for money and at £1.10p some customers will have second thoughts especially with the pagination being reduced by four pages!

Then we have the Daily Mirror trying to shoot themselves in the foot by producing weekend papers which are definitely not worth £1.10 and £1.50 on a Sunday, little wonder they were offering the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People for £2 last week using the voucher in the Saturday paper to save a pound.  Why the Mirror bosses didn’t get involved with the HND newsagents by producing a leaflet prior to any weekend, one will never know, it would certainly sell more newspapers, but then again, that’s why the Industry is in the position it’s in, because working together is not on the agenda with most publishers!

The weekly Trade rag Retail Newsagent this week had a two page spread on Newspapers this week, with the headline “Lets turn over a new leaf”, what retailers should do, what Publishers and Retailers should do together, and what Publishers and Retailers should do individually!

That’s all very well, but its not rocket science what the problem has been and still remains after all these years. It was steering everyone in the face some three weeks ago when a HND Newsagent reported in RN that he had been receiving his supplies by 3am each morning, and in the last 12 months he had over 500 new customers! EASY!

The problems remain with our dear Publishers and Wholesalers producing a delivery service that will benefit everyone within the Industry, we Newsagents have been falling over backwards to work with Publishers and the two wholesalers, but all the time we constantly get stabbed in the back.

News UK boss states that 44.% of news is sold by 11am, this guy needs some help, or is his figures based on a few selected shops? HND is still and will remain so the biggest selling point for Publishers, even more so when Publishers and wholesalers finally get their acts together with early morning delivery on a regular basis.

Smiths News have been criticized over the past years for operating their deliveries with contactors who employ under paid foreign staff driving around in old rust bucket vehicles that leads to problems of breakdowns. Last week three of these vehicles broke down, and then the Contractor walked away leaving the Peterborough branch in a right old mess, which left Smiths high and dry, with no drivers or vehicles. Oh happy days!!