A national newspaper publisher has been branded a Scrooge following its decision to cut newsagents’ profits immediately after Christmas.
Reach PLC, which publishes the Daily Mirror, Express and Star, has announced cover price increases to a number of its editions, but at the same time is cutting the margin that retailers receive from sales of its newspapers.
From December 28, weekday copies of the Daily Express will increase to 75p and the Daily Star price will go up to 55p, while from January 2, Saturday editions of the Express, Star and Mirror will be bumped up to £1.20, 90p and £1.50, respectively. The new price of the Sunday Express will be £1.80 and the Star Sunday edition will go up to £1.50, both from January 3.
The new pricing structure will also see newsagents’ profit margins on all these titles cut to 20 per cent per copy.
The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) condemned the move by Reach, especially after a year when newsagents throughout the UK and Ireland have worked so hard to keep newspaper sales going in such difficult circumstances.
NFRN National President Stuart Reddish expressed his dismay at the decision. He said: “In its letter informing us of the changes, Reach says ‘Many thanks for all your support throughout this difficult year and can we take this opportunity to wish you all the best for 2021’.
“Well cutting the profits of the very people who have kept the news trade afloat during the worst year for businesses in decades is a funny way of showing it.
“Christmas should be a time of giving and goodwill, but not, apparently, for newsagents.”