Convenience Store columnist Dave Newman is fuming at the quality of service provided by Menzies Distribution since it took over the supply of newspapers in Sussex and Kent last month.

The Hastings retailer said the past three weeks had been "horrendous", involving him spending hours on the phone to sort out supply issues and sending staff to other stores to buy extra copies of newspapers that had not arrived.

"Teething problems are one thing, but this has gone on too long," he told C-Store. "Twice this week I haven't had any Daily Mails to sell in my store. I'm losing the confidence of my customers. You wouldn't expect a big company such as Menzies to be so slapdash."

Menzies said it had given affected retailers a week's free carriage to make up for disruption caused by a new distribution centre in Eastbourne. A spokesman said: "A series of small problems added up to us giving our customers unacceptable service. We thought it was appropriate to recognise the patience of our customers with the free week of carriage, and they should be seeing an improvement as we work through the issues."

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