Archive for category General news


With Publishers and Wholesalers now performing daily on a self destruction mode button, the time has arrived when Newsagents have to join forces together to stop the current anarchy that is becoming a daily problem!  Publishers still in a world of their own, totally oblivious to the daily damage of failing to reach wholesalers warehouses on time, causing mayhem to everyone concern, when everybody connected to the Industry is fully aware that for continued success lies simply with the newspapers being on the customers breakfast table.

On two occasions this week, newspapers have been on a re-run from Smiths News at Peterborough, SUN, TIMES, and TELEGRAPH on Thursday Aug 31st, and the EXPRESS and STAR on Saturday September 2nd. This has caused massive problems for the wholesaler, whereby some newsagents were waiting till as late as 10.30am in many cases, this is absolutely diabolical situation, there is NO excuse, just plain stupidity.

However, despite these horrendous problems with the Publishers, its becoming an absolute nightmare trying to work with SMITHS NEWS, whatever has happened to this Company is mind boggling to say the least!

Late deliveries and missing copies are the norm for most newsagents as rationalisation of depots and jobs cuts continue, while the customer service has been a nightmare, and SMITHS NEWS have the audacity to want a carriage charge increase to enable them to rake in an additional £98 grand a week!

The continuous cutbacks is having a serious effect for all concern, and whilst we have many stories of severe problems all over the Country, let’s take Smiths News performances at PETERBOROUGH.

Over the recent months Smiths News have shut down warehouses from all over the region whereby Peterborough now covers newsagents within a 100 mile radius, not only that staff level is at an all time low, and they even have their own staff who have been there for years saying the situation can only get worse. Not only that, Smiths moved the magazine operation away from Peterborough to Birmingham, whereby now their lorries bring all magazines back to Peterborough FOUR days a week!  What’s wrong with that? nothing except two days running last week the magazines failed to arrive on time meaning newsagents were getting their books 24 hours late!

One newsagent last Saturday (August 26th) reported at 7am no Express / Star received, and at 12 noon was told they would not be coming now as all the drivers had gone home! not only that the same day Smiths News had forgotten to supply any papers to their OWN Wisbech shop!!

Saturday Sept 3rd, one newsagent travelled 120 miles round trip to fetch his Express / Star, and when he got back to base Smiths had delivered his other papers but left one BUNDLE of Suns which was supposed to be a TIMES bundle!

The situation at this time is deadly serious, unless the situation changes overnight many newsagents will walk away from the News Trade altogether, no other industry would except this unacceptable unprofessional performances by both Publishers and indeed Wholesalers.

Open letter to Smiths News Mr Rob Drummond.

Dear Mr Drummond.

There comes a time in life when one has to put pen to paper, such time has surely arisen.

With reference to your private and confidential letter received a few days ago (Dear Webbs  (Leverington) ROU !! 217678)( relating to your proposed increase carriage charges, I make the following comments.

The first apathy paragraph is filled with total garbage, just hiding the real facts that Smith News are giving every excuse available to rob their Newsagent customers yet again with outrageous demands of increasing delivery charge by some £255 a year making the overall total near £3000 a year.

Your company had the audacity last year to introduce a so called NEW “Labour Charge” when the previous year you had promised no increases. It was too laughable for words, when has labour NOT been associated to delivery charge? I was under the impression that your vehicles were driven by human beings, apparently not, must have been robots!

The current situation is surely this, your company has been cutting its cloth for far too long, whereby the service to us customers is mostly unsatisfactory and in some cases sheer right appalling,  we have seen Smiths News introduce outside “foreign” contractors who are working in conditions that is not allowed in this country. They ride around in vehicles that are mostly “rust buckets” and breakdowns is the norm in many areas.

Introducing a increase delivery charge from November is totally out of order, we Newsagents cannot be expected to be subjected to a near £3000 a year charge, when in all fairness the service your Company currently provides fails miserably in most cases.

I am personally seeking legal advise, and if need be will be advising members of my other business HNDA ltd NOT to pay the proposed increase fees. I will keep you informed, but in the meantime I suggest you inform the powers to be, for if it means going down the same route as I did over Smiths News Christmas day charge then rest assure Brian Webb will go to the courts yet again.

Yours sincerely,

A very unhappy Newsagent.

Brian Webb.


STOP “licking” Publishers / Wholesalers backsides!

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!!




Publishers, Wholesalers, NFRN, and HNDA all around the same table!

Tuesday May 23rd 2017 may eventually go down into the News Trade Industry history books, as the day when all three parties joined together to change the current delivery mechanism to benefit everyone!

IN his opening speech HNDA boss Brian Webb, emphasised so strongly that four years ago he formed a new organisation solely for HND entrepreneurs who despite everything within the trade remain the most important people attached to home news delivery. The days of any HNDA newsagent losing money through Publishers failing to reach wholesaler destinations on time is over, Webb emphasised most strongly that Publishers are now printing some SEVEN MILLION copies a day LESS now than they were TEN years ago, there are no excuses,  cut off times have to be met EVERYDAY, no more Editors wanting extra minutes, the HND copies have to be on the breakfast tables each day. Some 1563 Re-Runs this year already is an improvement said the meeting! there shouldn’t be any re-runs!

HNDA boss went on to inform publishers that from July 1st all re-runs would cost them money, our members have had enough, there are too many people walking away from the News Industry totally had a “gut full”, none more so than the guy down South who had over 300 plus HND customers and decided two weeks ago, that’s it, I cant work with these unprofessional people any more, and just stopped delivering over night! The Industry cannot afford to lose these firm sale orders.

Webb emphasised a number of reasons why on time deliveries could be achieved, one publisher stated he was spending £600 a night recently with extra vehicles after one particular area had FOUR RE-RUNS in EIGHT DAYS, so they saw the problem, done something to eliminate the anger and costs involved. When asked by a publishers what happens when the Europa Football match final tomorrow night goes  into extra time and penalties, do we hang on production or print the normal time?  PRINT to NORMAL TIME! How about June 8th Election he said, and the answer was the same, PRINT to NORMAL TIME!

After two hours of talking, we then heard the HNDA boss ask the room a question. Holding up a Smiths News Invoice from 1992 who can tell me what’s the same 25 years on?  before anyone had the chance to let their brains work overtime, Webb said vouchers payment of 1p, remains. weekend supplements 2p remains twenty five years done the road, one publisher asked what do you want? to which the HNDA boss said payment in line with your newspapers prices, this gentleman’s Saturday paper is now £1.00, and at the time 25 years ago it was 30p. We await to see the outcome, but they a fully aware the situation needs addressing URGENTLY.

Hopefully the meeting was a success, only improved results will determined whether it was a waste of time or not, one thing is for sure, the HNDA boss was the only person in the room who was not being paid wages / expenses for the days work, it certainly shows the dedication and commitment of one person who is totally obsessed  to go to whatever lengths needed for the benefit of every HNDA member.


It’s WAR! Unprofessional PUBLISHERS killing our business!

War is breaking out within the news trade industry with a number of well known Newsagents walking away, simply unable to cope with continuous late papers that has become a total nightmare this year. Supplies to my Peterborough base warehouse has been diabolical, been LATE 34 times in 2017 from 49 days, plus the three re-runs that have taken place.

Publishers know I’m probably the most experienced person within the news trade, now entering my 59th year, and I know all their excuses, but we are currently in a position that their excuses are NO LONGER ALLOWED. The printed copy must be on the customers breakfast table each day, it’s essential if we are to have any chance of survival.

Re-RUNS cost Newsagents money, more of a case especially we Home News Delivery Newsagents actually lose money by doing a double run, but from now on that situation STOPS, we Newsagents are NO LONGER going to lose money through no fault of our own. PUBLISHERS late is going to cost them money, because more importantly all RE-RUNS are killing the trade DEAD!

My phone rings daily from our HNDA members having the same problems, there are no excuses available to these so called publishers, its a case of getting their acts together on a daily basis. More than ever before do we need our supplies on time, and if its a problem when publishers are printing SIX MILLION copies a day LESS than they were TEN years ago, then some P45s need dishing out!.

It appears all Publishers are doing their utmost to rock the boat, the bold prediction by News UK boss Murdock at the phone hacking trial that there would NOT be newspapers in twenty years seems to trigger the pants of the other publishers in trying to bring the date forward!

Take MAIL NEWSPAPERS, where’s the brains department there? talk about shoot yourself in the foot! the MAIL uses four pages informing the reader to try the digital edition its HALF the price of the PRINTED copy! This is AFTER they had a recent price increase and again cut our terms at the same time. It’s no wonder the senior officials have gone into hiding, refusing to meet us face us!

Yes, we can all blame each other, its too easy to look for excuses. but everyone has their own opinions why the trade is heading in the wrong direction, some will state people are changing their reading habits, others like yours truly will point the finger solely at the publishers for producing papers that no longer offer value for money. Take the local newspapers scene, everyone is a shambles, even the small independent Publishers are killing the trade, example: I use to have 1800 Wisbech Standards not so long ago, it was the town bible for everyone, now I’m lucky to sell 175 copies of the 90p, 48 page newspaper, and I have more customers now than I did in those days!

But back to the main issue, its essential that all Publishers get their acts together NOW, there is NO tomorrow, its NOW or NEVER! Produce value for money newspapers, and even more important than ever before in the history of the news trade industry get those supplies out on time. EVERYDAY!

Brian Webb.




Fifteen years ago a newsagent making his first ever public speech on the rostrum in front of 300 fellow newsagents at the NFRN Annual Conference in Torquay, made a statement that has been proven so many times over the recent years as being the only strategy that will cement the News Trade as being a continued success.

The man stated “there are three players on the news trade field, the Publishers, Wholesalers, and the Independent Newsagent”, this is no boxing match, but the only way forward is working together!

Working together would benefit everyone, but its not happening, hasn’t for so many years, what we have is Publishers dictating, Wholesalers obeying, and the Independent Newsagents being ripped to smithereens, forcing many to walk away. Can anyone within the News trade Industry honestly say this is not happening?

The story is true, I know I was that Newsagent, and everyone including Publishers and Wholesalers in the conference centre stood on their feet and applauded ! So why has it NOT happened?

We can all blame each other, it’s too easy to look for excuses, but everyone has their own opinions why sales continue to fall each month. Some will say people are changing their reading habits, and point the finger to the new “technology” of computers, the I-pads, and the mobile phones, others blame the publishers for producing newspapers which are no longer value for money. The phone tapping scandal will also been blamed, but despite what ever one believes, the daily read will always be needed on the breakfast tables, providing we all act now.

The stark reality of it all is surely this: the news trade has to turn the corner and get its house in order. We have now come to the point of NO return, the situation can no longer continue in its present format, and the fingers are solely aimed in the Publisher and Wholesalers direction.

Over the recent years in the News Trade Industry, the Independent Newsagents all over the Country have suffered alarmingly, terms slashed, carriage charges gone through the roof, to a point where the Industry is losing the most important “cog” on the news trade wheel

In particular, the HND service has taken a major setback, with good HND newsagents being SHAFTED with trade terms being reduced that has crippled the professional home news delivery service that their customers have been accustomed too, which has in many cases fallen by the wayside. This has led to a number of Newsagents ceasing trade and with no new owners coming forward not only does the regular customer lose out, but more alarmingly; it becomes a permanent loss to the whole news trade.

Its now OCTOBER 2016, and the bubble has finally burst where we Newsagents CANNOT and WILL NOT BE RIPPED apart by greedy publishers anymore.

Last week we had the TELEGRAPH increasing the weekday price by 20p and at the same time they cut terms to 21.50%, because they have to be in line with their opposition the TIMES !

This week it’s the Daily Mail who despite the fact its the first rise for five years on the Saturday edition, the increase of 10p (£1) is still insufficient for them, that the only way forward was to take another 0.4% from our margins yet again. You can afford that Webbo! What’s 0.4% between friends? That being the case why take it? PURE GREED!

Whose next to inform us well that money (our money) will be invested into the future of the paper?, ( use your own money) who next will have the audacity to ask for our names and addresses of our customers so they can revert them to have their vouchers and be their customers?

So what can we do? Simple solution, but first we all need to be rowing the same boat in the same direction, it’s us against them now, they don’t want to be level headed, just the opposite, they are the little “Hitler’s” and we either take it or walk away!

WRONG, IT STOPS NOW, and together it can and will be achieved.

Everyone in the news trade knows me, everyone knows that after being in the business everyday for the past 58 years I’m probably the most experience person around, its not being pig headed, just a pure fact, I know the industry inside out, and believe me we Newsagents are being ripped off mercifully, simply because before this moment they could get away with what ever they wanted.

So before I go on as to what we can do, let me just tell you all that at 71 I don’t have to do this, but I care about everyone who is in the trade of selling newspapers. I have a good news business, employ 16 staff, the new postal service I started in March 2014 is booming big time, that I’m dreading the Christmas period approaching! I’m also in charge of HNDA Ltd, where we have near 3000 members, who pay no membership fee, but on a daily basis we help members with any issue they have within the industry. I’m available to them 24/7, and yes it’s FREE!

I have a number of good professional people around me, none my so than the gentleman I have spoken to this morning, a previous newsagent who was the President of the NFRN at a time when Presidents were chosen by professional knowledge and ability to succeed. This man probably was the best National President ever, whereby both Publishers and indeed wholesalers listened and co-operated with his decisions during his reign as NP. The NFRN was never more powerful when this guy was number one, so people understand where I’m coming from when I take this man’s advise.

He said Webbo, why do you want the hassle? but yes HNDA is the only way forward for every retailer concerned, not just HND newsagents but everyone involved within the retail side of the industry.
“The only chance for success for the future is for everyone to be on the same side. I had as president some 26,000 members behind me, so your 3000 my boy is a long way off to succeed.

So here’s the plan, some might say it’s audacious but believe me it’s the only way forward, so come and join me at HNDA, I have no intention of changing the name even though our organisation is now open to any retail newsagent within the trade, that’s and become a member, its FREE and together we can have a brighter future if our so called partners want to work with us!

NO MORE Re-RUNS, NO MORE late supplies, NO MORE TERMS CUTS, NO MORE CARRIAGE CHARGE INCREASES, etc, and a organisation that will support you 24/7 with any matter within our industry. Ask any HNDA member, we are here for you. I hear you say no more RE-RUNS? If they do then they pay us instead of us LOSING MONEY THROUGH THEIR FAULT! We are NOT losing money ANYMORE, the buck stops NOW!

Simply fill in the form ( and if you DONT do HND deliveries just fill in the amount of newspapers you handle each day, this gives us the ammunition when we are meeting Publishers. The decision is yours, just remember together we can succeed, stay as we are and we will always be shafted by greedy Publishers and Wholesalers. Check us out everyday on Twitter to see what’s going on in the news trade @hndanews.

Thanks for listening! Its decision time for you, and quite frankly it’s an easy one to make!
Brian Webb.

Greedy Publishers warned: HOME NEWS DELIVERY will be LOST!

Some 15 years ago a NFRN delegate making his maiden speech at the Torquay Annual Conference told the News Trade Industry will slowly but surely destroy each other unless all three parties (Publishers, Wholesalers, and us Independent Newsagents started to work TOGETHER as a unit striving for the success.  Since that time, the situation has remained the same, with Publishers having the monopoly to do as they wish, Wholesalers in a world of their own pushing carriage charges to the limit whilst fuel prices continue to fall, and the Independent newsagents being shafted at every opportunity Publishers made a decision to become more greedy.

None more so than the news just released that Associated Mail Newspaper publishers have announced that the Daily Mail Monday to Friday copy will increase its price by 5p to 65p, that’s 25p a week for each copy whilst the newsagents hand out has been a pathetic 2.90p, because the Publisher has made the decision to cut retailers terms from 23.2% to 22.4%!

So despite this increase bringing in the Daily Mail some ONE and half MILLION pounds a month, the greedy publisher wanted more, the HND Newsagents especially are having a tough time a present have been shafted yet again, and even more alarmingly this Publisher showed the whole industry how unprofessional they have become, when they shamefully failed to announce the terms cut in the letter sent to every retailer!

This latest terms cut has been taken badly by the trade in general, newsagents realising that unless this decision by Mail newspapers is challenged, other publishers will follow the same route and cut their terms to 22.4%. Newsagents are meeting shortly to discuss a action plan, and its quite obvious Mail Newspapers could suffer in the months ahead.

The News Trade Industry will continue to  struggle for a number of reasons, most Publishers have no vision of the way forward, and retailers are falling by the wayside totally destroyed by their so called partners within the trade. Unless common sense prevails, more and more newsagents will walk away leaving the HOME NEWS DELIVERED COPY (which still remains Publishers number one priority) will a service of the past. EVERYONE CONNECTED TO THE TRADE IS BEING WARNED. 

News Trade Misery Continues!

  1. NORTHERN SHELL BOSS cuts Newsagents terms AGAIN!
  2. JOHNSON PRESS commit Suicide!
  3. SMITHS NEWS enjoy Christmas with £215 THOUSAND POUNDS from NEWSAGENTS!

Another Christmas day nearly over and for many of us professional Newsagents have enjoyed our one day off a year, recharged the batteries and ready for the onslaught of Boxing day, the busiest sporting day of the year. However, many retailers have decided to shut up shop, and who can really blame them when the News Industry continues to shoot itself in the foot?

RICHARD DESMOND, the Northern Shell boss has announced that from January the 2nd the DAILY EXPRESS will follow the footsteps of its sister paper the DAILY STAR and reduce the Saturday edition retail price to 45p, again stabbing his bread and butter Newsagent partners in the back with reduced profit margins.

Express Newspapers, which has also refused to give staff a pay rise for the eighth consecutive year, is not at this stage thought to be looking to reduce headcount to hit a target of saving about £3.5m, but obviously the “brain dead shark” newspaper owner has decided we Newsagents can bear the blunt of his inability to produce a value for money newspaper that the readers would want to buy on a regular basis.

Lets face it, the current standard of the Daily Express is pitiful, editorial at its lowest ebb, and the marketing team have their brains planted in the wrong position! We are 5p cheaper than the Daily Mail and ten times better! Who’s kidding who? who gives a “monkeys” about five pence, certainly not the opposition Associated Mail Newspapers.

So what’s Desmond expect to happen, the sales will increase which will help him to sell both Newspapers in 2016? its not going to happen, some people believe his figures have increased with the DAILY STAR half price newspaper, but this website knows many newsagents who have deleted the title altogether, refusing to work for a miserable return of under 5p for each copy!

JOHNSON PRESS, the local newspaper mongrel has again decide to insult the public by increasing the selling newspapers yet again,  in Webbo’s area the Tuesday LYNN NEWS mostly 40 pages has gone up 5p to 80p!  LINCOLNSHIRE FREE PRESS, and the SPALDING GUARDIAN exactly the same.

Total suicidal, and to make matters even worse, this particular week they are taking a holiday by NOT producing the Lynn News, or next Tuesdays edition, and the Lincolnshire Free Press is also NOT being published. More lost revenue for the Newsagents!

Finally, we come to SMITHS NEWS, the wholesaler who fails miserably in producing a delivery service expected to so many Newsagents across the Country for the extortionate carriage charge payment they receive each week.

Brian Webb was asked recently by a senior News trade official not to mention this matter before this Christmas, and that will show that Newsagents in general are not concerned that SMITHS NEWS hierarchy have been eating their Christmas dinner today, knowing that we gullible Newsagents have handed them a £215 thousand pounds bonus for NOT turning a wheel.

No papers printed, No contractors to pay, No warehouse’s used, No electricity to pay, No nothing!

But they again take £215 grand of our money. One newsagent said, what’s £7.15p! Its comments like this that emphasise most strongly why retailers are being shafted in the news trade today.

We hear so many Newsagents complaining about MENZIES, but at least Menzies changed their contract terms last year when our namesake was in the courts with SMITHS NEWS on this particular matter.

One thing is for sure, SMITHS NEWS may think they have got away with this at the moment, but rest assured the matter is far from over, all Courts don’t have gullible judges! WATCH THIS SPACE!

Where we are now in the NEWS TRADE!


 The month of August has been and gone! What a nightmare for many living newsagents who has to deal with these so called trade partners who fail daily to recognize the need to run a professional operation that would benefit everyone connected to the News Trade Industry.

PUBLISHERS fail to reach wholesalers destinations at the times they actually set themselves on a daily basis somewhere in the Country, the sheer factor they are currently printing SEVEN MILLION copies a day LESS than they were ten years ago and still the cant get their act together in a providing the service that is necessary for the whole operation to have any chance of being successful. What’s the word we like to use? Professional, NO PUBLISHER understands the meaning of the word!

Every day this week (w/e August 29th) one or more Publishers have arrived at Smiths News in Peterborough after cut off time, which has led to newsagents all over the area receiving their supplies 30 minutes or more, later than normal. On the plus side the wholesaler has performed miracles to reach some HND newsagents 35 miles away within 90 minutes of receiving the papers from late Publishers vehicles.

Then turning to the wholesalers, Smiths News, and here we have a multi Million pound operation who continues to cut corners for the benefit of their share holders!

Smiths News no longer have their own vehicles, their own delivery staff, it’s all been handed to Contractors who operate a delivery service with under paid self employed foreign operators in vehicles that can only be described as RUSH BUCKETS!

These individuals are on wages less than £4 an hour and get penalised if any parcels go missing, irrespective if it’s their fault or not. Vehicles breakdown, but to Smith News it’s not their problem, we pay the contractor for the job to be done!

So there we have the current situation,

Publishers in a world of their own, performing appallingly, not concerned of the problems caused by LATE times at wholesale destinations points, Wholesalers using cheap Contractors to deliver to retailers, hiding from the reality of Newsagents welfare, despite raking in 1.5 MILLION a week in carriage charges! Newsagents are totally fed up with the whole News Trade environment that many are just walking away.

Smiths News trying to “Hoodwink” Newsagents!

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!