Over the past few months publishers such as Trinity Mirror, Newsquest and Northcliffe Media have moved the majority of their titles from direct delivery to wholesale delivery to cut costs.
The Association of News Retailers (ANR) has warned that wholesalers now planned to include the distribution cost in retailers' carriage charge calculations, forcing many smaller shops to pay about 70p more in carriage charges. "Smaller retailers don't have a choice because of the wholesale monopolies, and they can barely afford it," said ANR managing director John Lennon.
"Publishers are increasing their profits by reducing their costs, and wholesalers are increasing their profits through additional business. Everyone makes a profit except the retailer."
Smiths News told C-Store it had already been in contact with the ANR and "at this point has no further comment".
Menzies was unavailable for comment.