The Co-op and Asda have formed a new lobby group in a bid to influence the news industry supply chain.

The News Retailer Group (NRG), which also includes the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, wants to engage with newspaper publishers, magazine distributors and wholesalers in order to improve the news industry for consumers and its members.

The NRG intends to lobby key groups across the industry such as the Press Distribution Forum, Newspaper & Magazine Wholesalers, the Newspaper Publishers Association and the Professional Publishers Association for improvements to the operation and management of the UK supply chain.

The first chairman of the Group, John Barn, said: “We believe that everyone in the industry has a vested interest in making the supply chain as efficient as possible for all parties which could ultimately help secure the long term future of the industry for everyone, especially the consumer.

“That is why we have come together to form this important group which is open to all multiple retailers who sell newspapers and magazines.”

NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “Independent retailers’ calls for improvements throughout the news supply chain will be strengthened through the NFRN’ s membership of The News Retailers Group.

“The NFRN already has a strong voice in the news industry and on its own has sought to address supply chain failings through individual meetings with publishers and through our highly successful news summits.

“Some progress has been made but there is still a need for further engagement and action which is why we are pleased to be a founding member of this new retailer lobbying group. Joining forces with key news retail colleagues who are affected by the same news industry issues as the NFRN’ s 15,000 members will strengthen our calls for action and hopefully the ills that have beset the industry for far too long will finally be addressed.”