Retailers are paying the price for publishers’ mistakes, according to John Lennon, managing director of the Association of News Retailing (ANR).

Lennon reckons that by failing to make use of magazine database the National Title File (NTF), mistakes are occurring. His comment follows a recent mistake which meant retailers received copies of Today’s Golfer magazine with an incorrect barcode. This resulted in the magazine being scanned in at 10p below the cover price.

Lennon says: “It is not the first time that this has happened and the cost is borne entirely by the retailers for something that publishers should find easy to rectify. “The NTF was set up to provide a single point of contact for the management and validation of title information and so aid the efficient distribution of product throughout the supply chain - or it should be so.

The NTF falls down because publishers and wholesalers aren’t using it as their primary source of information, so retailers are provided with different information from the rest of the chain. “The simple solution is to hold the product at the wholesalers until the error has been corrected. There are only three multiple wholesalers and half a dozen independents, so it would be better to put the problem right at this stage rather than send an incorrect product to 52,000 retailers.”