Keith Palmer emailed me with the beef that the Daily Mail was offering readers a free DVD if they picked up their copies from WHS. He wondered if this was legal.

Yes, it might grate, especially if your supplier is WH Smith Wholesale and you also sell the Daily Mail, but, as I pointed out to Keith, WHS would say that its retail and wholesale businesses are separate businesses. John Menzies came in for a bashing too, this time from Andy Thurston (Gemco News, Braintree, Essex). On our last bank holiday Andy had sold out of newspapers by 8am. He had to buy from another shop to complete his home deliveries. “I’m not a small news customer,” says Andy, “my bill is £3,000 a week. Should I not expect to be treated as one of Menzies Chelmsford branch’s top customers?”

A spokesman for John Menzies said that, because Andy had recently taken over extra paper rounds, it was hard to see a history of bank holidays.

“I started these rounds in January, five bank holidays ago,” says Andy, who has calculated a loss in sales of £300-400 for the day (based on the last bank holiday). He asked for £50 compensation and got £16.50. “I’m fed up with others trying to close my business,” he adds.

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