The Fed (Federation of Independent Retailers) has slammed The Mail’s latest digital subscription offer as a cynical ploy to lure customers away from printed newspapers and a snub to newsagents.
Associated Newspapers Limited is advertising a digital subscription deal for the Daily Mail of just 90p for 90 days.
The Fed’s National President Jason Birks said: “This is yet another example of the publisher’s determination to drive loyal print readers to its online versions and the total disregard for retailers who sell its printed products.
“There has been no prior warning or discussion with those in the retail industry about this – just heavy promotion inside the paper and on the front page.
“The printed Daily Mail costs 90p per day, so by effectively offering a digital version for 1p per day, albeit temporarily, they are devaluing the paper and at the same time making it look like retailers are profiteering.
“Also, the auto-renewal price after the 90 days is £10.99 per month, so while the offer may seem attractive in the short-term, in reality it is not that great a deal for readers who value having a physical copy from their newsagent.”
Mr Birks said retailers were also concerned that encouraging regular readers to switch to online subscriptions will have a detrimental knock-on effect for shop owners and lead to a loss of trade.
He added: “It is a proven fact that newspapers are a key footfall driver, and research shows that people buying a paper will often buy something else at the same time.
“I strongly believe that our members may consider delisting the product, because their hard work that has kept the news industry afloat for years isn’t recognised or appreciated by publishers.”