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Independent retailers have condemned publisher Archant’s move to persuade its Life magazine subscribers to switch from printed editions to digital.

The Fed understands subscribers to the regional publisher’s 20 county Life magazines are being asked if they would consider receiving their May issue magazine content via an app instead of in a print copy.

Archant claims the new “eco subscription” is not compulsory but told subscribers it would be a chance for them to “save paper”.

The publisher says this is part of a strategy set out in the middle of last year to achieve net zero-emissions at the company.

The Fed’s National President Narinder Randhawa said: “This move comes at a time when the owners are looking to sell the company and just goes to show the contempt that they have for retailers who have supported their titles for decades.”

The Fed’s head of news and Connect Brian Murphy said: “I would remind Archant, and any other publishers who may be thinking of following a similar strategy, that there are very few examples of it being successful.”

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