I don’t hear all that often from our offshore islands so I was very interested in Roger Martin’s problem when he rang from St Helier, Jersey. His store, Saint Saviour Convenience Store, has been there as a business since pre-war. Roger has run it for 40 years. So far, so different.
The problem, though, was somewhat familiar. His news wholesaler’s service left something to be desired. “We’re getting the bare minimum of supplies. We pay £30 a week for delivery of the national papers and another £10 for local papers.” He used to get all the top magazines; now he’s getting hardly any and just half-a-dozen of each paper.
He says that his wholesaler, Jersey Evening News, just doesn’t seem interested. The second time I spoke to him, he had had eight Daily Mirrors, two Times and three Telegraphs delivered. “It’s nothing. They’re killing small business.”
He reckons Jersey Evening News is too busy serving the supermarkets and ignoring the 200 or so indies it serves.
I was concerned that, Jersey being a crown dependency (not even a member of the Commonwealth or EU), the wholesaler might not be a member of the Press Distribution Charter (PDC) and therefore not bound by the code of conduct.
But, happy days. I contacted Dorothy King, who guides retailers through the complaints process on behalf of the Press Distribution Forum and she confirmed that Jersey Evening News is indeed affiliated to the PDC via the Association of Newspapers and Magazine Wholesalers. She’s on the case.