The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) is calling for an amendment to the Competition Act 1998 to enable independent retailers to stand up to the monopolistic supply chain.
The commitment was outlined in the Federation’s 2013 campaign manifesto, which focuses on four key areas of news and magazines, retail crime, the high street, and responsible retailing.
It will campaign for secondary legislation to amend the Competition Act to allow for a distinction to be made between large corporations and micro-businesses. The latter should be allowed a limited ability to act collectively in markets characterised by “tolerated operational monopolies”, the NFRN argues.
As the legislation currently stands, if any two or more independent retailers were to get together and delist a title in protest, the relevant wholesalers and publishers can sue them for collective action under the Competition Act 1998.
The move follows the OFT’s decision not to conduct a short update of the news and magazine supply chain.
Other campaign demands include tougher sentencing for criminals who commit ‘low level’ crimes, an unequivocal commitment from government to maintain the Sunday trading status quo, and automatic small business rate relief.
The NFRN also wants full impact assessments to prevent major multiples from gaining approval for new outlets under the guise of them being convenience stores rather than supermarkets.
The manifesto was launched last week (November 7) at a House of Commons reception, which was hosted by Mike Weatherly MP, who heads the All Party Parliamentary Group on Retail and Business Crime (APPG-RBC).