News retailers ‘sick’ of publishers’ mentality, says NFRN

Rolled-up newspaper

A round of national newspaper cover price rises accompanied by cuts in retail margin has been met with a scathing response from news retailers.

News UK has announced a 20p price rise for the Saturday Times to £1.90 with a drop in margin from 21.5% to 21% less than a week after Trinity Mirror flagged a similar move for the newspapers it recently acquired from Northern & Shell.

From this week (commencing April 2), margins on the Express and Star titles are being cut to 22.5% for weekday editions and 21% at the weekend. Retailers had previously enjoyed terms of 24.2% for all editions of the newspapers.

The new price of Monday to Friday copies of the Daily Express rises 5p to 60p. The Saturday Express will cost 90p and the Sunday edition rises to £1.50.

Meanwhile, Monday to Friday editions of the Daily Star increase by 10p to 40p. Saturday editions will cost 50p and the Daily Star Sunday rises in price from 90p to £1.

“News retailers are getting heartily sick of this follow-my-leader mentality that publishers are now adopting by accompanying price rises with a cut in our terms,” said NFRN National President Linda Sood.

“This gives us yet more ammunition for our bid to get the Cairncross review into the future sustainability of national and local newspapers extended so the whole news supply chain comes under scrutiny.”