ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN

 
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
News
                                                                  Letters
                                                                  Public affairs
                                                                  NFRN Awards
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                                                                  ISSUE 145
THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS                            OCTOBER 2017

                                      ENOUGH’S ENOUGH
                                      END CARRIAGE CHARGES
                                                                            PAGE 32

    @NFRN_online   facebook.com/nfrnonline   www.nfrnonline.com
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
Funeralcare

        £13
         130
           0 of
             offf
       F
       Funeral
        uneral P
               Plans
                 lans
        Was
        Was £2,995
            £2,995
       Now
       Now £ 2 , 86 5
            £2,865

          W
          With
            ith £
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                 130 o
                     off
                       f f our
                           our fully
                               fully guaranteed
                                     guaranteed pre-paid
                                                   pre-paid
        F
        Funeral
         uneral Plans,
                Plans, you
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                                              your
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                         Funeral Plan
                                 Plan providers,
                                        providers, we
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                                                      promise to  to cover
                                                                     cover the
                                                                            the costs
                                                                                 costs of
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                                                                                           your
                   cchosen
                     hosen burial
                           burial or   remation*, e
                                  or ccremation   even
                                                   ven iiff prices rise
                                                            prices rise in the
                                                                           the ffuture.
                                                                                 uture.
                 To get
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                          our £ 130 o
                              £130    f f, simply
                                    off,   simply quote
                                                  quote NFRN130   and call
                                                        NFRN130 and    call 0800
                                                                            0800 389
                                                                                   389 8377,
                                                                                       8377,
                 go online
                 go  online tto
                              o ccoop.co.uk/funeralcare
                                  oop.co.uk /funeralcare or
                                                          or take
                                                             take this
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                                                                       adver t to
                                                                               to your
                                                                                  your local
                                                                                       local
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                                              Co-op   uneralcare.
                                                     Funeralcare.

Terms & conditions: Based on £130 discount t aken from the of f line price of a Simple Funer al Plan at £2995.
Discount is only valid for Pre-paid Funer al Plans purchased bet ween 1 September 2017 and 1 April 2018 (inclusive).
The promotional code for this adver t is NFRN130. A Co - op Member will not be able to earn or spend their member ship reward when purchasing a
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1 Angel Square, Manches ter, M60 0AG. Full terms and conditions c an be found at w w w.coop.co.uk /funer alc are
*A s prices and availabilit y var y across the UK , Co - op burial Plans do not include the cos t of buying a gr ave.
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
LINDA SOOD                                                                      CONTENTS
                                                                            NFRN National President                                                         NFRN NEWS
                                                                                                                                                            National news                                                  4-7
As if any further evidence was needed of                                    demonstration outside the news                                                  Local news                                                       9
abuse by news wholesalers, Smiths News                                      wholesaler’s head office last month.
                                                                                                                                                            TRADE SHOWS
recently announced that come November                                          In one of the most high profile actions
                                                                                                                                                            Summer events                                                10-11
its carriage charges would be hiked by an                                   the NFRN has taken for some time we
average of 4 per cent.                                                      aimed to get Smiths News’ senior                                                LETTERS
   At a time when many independent                                          management to recognise that for                                                Having your say                                                  12
retailers are suffering financially, for Smiths                             independent news retailers, enough was                                          POLITICAL ISSUES
News to expect its customers to absorb                                      enough; that it’s time they got to grips                                        Carrier bag code and crime                                       15
such a significant increase is totally                                      with service levels and to be truly                                             NATIONAL COUNCIL
beyond me.                                                                  transparent when it comes to revealing                                          Autumn proceedings                                          16-19
   Carriage charges are a blight on news                                    the make-up of the charge. In the longer                                        THE FED’S GUIDE TO...
retailers. They are outdated and unfair;                                    term we want a complete overhaul of                                             Newspapers and magazines                                   22-26
in short, a rip off. They deny retailers a                                  carriage charges before it is too late and                                      RETURN SCHEME
large slice of the margin they should                                       independent retailers give up on the                                            Plans are a step closer                                    28-30
receive from selling newspapers and                                         newspaper and magazine categories.
                                                                                                                                                            ENOUGH’S ENOUGH
magazines, and isn’t it strange that they                                      I would like to say thank you to the
                                                                                                                                                            Retailer protest at Smiths News                             32-36
always go up when circulations continue                                     retailers who came along to voice their
to decline, and when petrol and diesel                                      anger and I am proud of our efforts in                                          NFRN AWARDS
prices fall?                                                                representing our members’ interests in                                          Retailer finalists                                               39
   As I told national councillors at our                                    this way. We have clearly shown that                                            PAYZONE TERMS
recent meeting in Liverpool, if the money                                   ‘enough’s enough’.                                                              NFRN victorious                                            40-41
Smiths News recouped from these charges                                        What Smiths News – and Menzies                                               ASK THE EXPERTS
was used to invest in the business and to                                   Distribution too for that matter – should                                       Legal support for your business                            42-43
improve the service that it gives to its                                    do now is negotiate an improved margin                                          FOOD-TO-GO
retail customers, then perhaps it could be                                  from the publishers.                                                            Is a way of modern life                                    46-50
more comprehensible. But given recent                                          And, in my meeting with representatives                                      HERE TO HELP
performances from the new Birmingham                                        from all the supply chain, I will be urging                                     NFRN Connect                                                52-53
and Hemel houses, it appears that nothing                                   them to think long and hard about the
                                                                                                                                                            NEWSPRO
could be further from the truth.                                            way it operates and to find better ways to
                                                                                                                                                            Frontline’s festive tips                                        56
   It’s not surprising then that members’                                   fund wholesalers that does not pile yet
anger and frustration has been boiling                                      more cost on hard pressed retailers.                                            STORE2DOOR
over, and as you will have seen from                                        Through future columns in The Fed I will                                        Sub retailing success                                      58-59
the front page, this culminated in a                                        keep you posted on my success.                                                  NEWSPRO
                                                                                                                                                            Menzies portal upgrade                                          60
                                                                            National President Linda Sood                                                   NEWSPAPER MARGINS
                                                                                                                                                            At a glance guide                                               62
                                                                            Editor Anne Bingham
                                                                            0207 017 8887 anne@nfrn.org.uk                                                  DIARY
                                                                                                                                                            Key dates                                                        63
                                                                            Editorial 0207 253 4225

                                                                            Advertising Carolyn Kirkland
öWhereùer one man can                                                       0207 017 8883 carolyn@shoplinkonline.co.uk
help another, thank God for                                                 Design & production MYPEC
such a birthright, brotherõ                                                 0113 257 9646 info@mypec.co.uk www.mypec.co.uk

   0800 043 0215                                     ADVICE & CLAIMS:                                   020 7017 8865                                  0800 028 7283                                 0800 066 4988
   (01) 247 9181                                      0330 303 1457                                                                                    020 7017 8884                                 01892 888470
                                                       (01) 453 7991

                                                        020 7017 8858                                   0800 121 6376                                  0800 121 6376                                 0800 028 7283
                                                                                                        020 7017 8880                                  020 7017 8880
                                                                                                        (01) 453 5822                                  (01) 453 5822

Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this publication, no guarantee is given that the information provided is correct, complete, and/or up-to-date. The materials contained
in this publication are provided for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. The NFRN and the publisher do not accept any responsibility for any loss
which may arise from reliance on information contained in this publication. Produced by MYPEC and printed in England.
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
NATIONAL NEWS                                                                   For latest news, deals and views, go to

                                                                                                                          nfrnonline.com

                           DELIVERING RETAIL CHOICE
© Business Shows Limited

                                                                           “Wholesalers are trying to dictate            retailer was that they understood their
                                                                         ranges, and in this way retailers are           customers and engaged with them.
                                                                         becoming more homogenous,” he said.                “A good independent will always be
                                                                         “Yes, there may be different fascias above      better than a good corporate because it’s
                                                                         shop doors, but step inside and it’s the        their money, their passion and their
                                                                         same story.”                                    people and they know what needs to be
                                                                           In a rallying cry, he said: “You can’t trim   done,” he explained. “We need to find a
                                                                         our ranges. You can’t make us mini-mes.         way that wholesalers can support
                                                                         Consumers want choice.”                         independent retailers so they can do
                                                                           For many years, and because of the            what they need to do and not what
                                                                         duopoly in news wholesaling, retailers had      you want them to do.”
                           Grocery wholesalers need to raise their       suffered from poor service and lack of             Independents wanted points of
                           game and improve their availability or        availability, but Mr Baxter said that more      difference, such as more new product
                           independent stores are likely to become a     members than ever were complaining that         development, better availability and
                           host of ‘mini-mes’, NFRN chief executive      grocery ranges were getting smaller and         better pricing. Range reduction for the
                           Paul Baxter has warned.                       that certain products were being pushed         sake of rationalisation and efficiency was
                             In a presentation entitled ‘What does       on them.                                        not acceptable.
                           the future hold for the customer?’ at IGD       “In the long term retailers will be less         In his final call for action, Mr Baxter said
                           Wholesaling 2017 in London last month,        independent and less varied and that’s          that if Amazon could understand and
                           Mr Baxter told the audience of suppliers,     bad for suppliers and shoppers,”                deliver what millions of customers
                           wholesalers and retailers that availability   Mr Baxter cautioned.                            wanted, suppliers and wholesalers should
                           was poorer than ever.                           He said the beauty of the independent         be able do the same for the retailer.

                                                                                                   NEWS SUMMIT RAISES
                                                                                                   SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES
                                                                                                   National publishers and news wholesalers will be invited
                                                                                                   to share hopes and fears on the future of the supply chain
                                                                                                   when the NFRN holds its next news summit in London
                                                                                                   next month.
                                                                                                      Members’ concerns over delivery times, availability and
                            POPPY APPEAL MEDAL                                                     insertion payments will also come under the spotlight, with
                                                                                                   the emphasis again on the way that publishers and
                            In recognition of her tireless support and fundraising for the         wholesalers need to support independent news retailers.
                            Poppy Appeal, Llanidloes retailer Trudy Davies has been                   Head of news Brian Murphy said: “Our regular news
                            presented with a Royal British Legion Service medal.                   summits play an important role in reminding our supply
                               Trudy, of Woosnam & Davies News, is pictured proudly                chain partners of the huge role that NFRN members play in
                            receiving the award from Llanidloes Mayor Janet Crisp.                 the industry; enable us to address service failings and to
                               She has devoted an impressive 35 years to supporting the            highlight ways that we can all work together to boost sales
                            Royal British Legion and the medal was awarded to her by               and profits in their stores.”
                            the national chairman of the Royal British Legion for her                 News summits have been held regularly since January 2013.
                            ‘continued, tireless, loyal and long service’.                         At the last gathering on May 23 this year the NFRN laid bare
                               A modest Trudy told The Fed: “I am honoured to have been            the impact that late deliveries had on the businesses of HND
                            awarded this from The Poppy Appeal RBL for my work,                    retailers and roundsmen. Although the publishers and
                            although it is not hard work when you meet so many great               wholesalers attending were told that arrival times into
                            people over the years. It amazes me how generous everyone              retailers had improved during 2017, there was still more to
                            is for this very ‘close to my heart’ and worthwhile charity.”          be done to ensure the longevity of the industry.

                           4 NFRNONLINE.COM OCTOBER 2017
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
NATIONAL NEWS

PAYZONE RECONSIDERS                                                                                   News in brief
CONTRACT CHANGES
After intense pressure from the NFRN,            meeting’ between the NFRN and Payzone,
                                                                                                 PENSION SCAM
                                                                                                 Beware of an email entitled Complete
including the threat of legal action, Payzone    the e-payments company agreed to                your Declaration that appears to come
backed down over controversial changes           reconsider and confirmed it would give          from The Pensions Regulator as it is a
that it had planned to introduce to              retailers a reasonable period of notice to      scam and should be ignored. The email
accompany the launch of its new                  consider the new contracts and an ability to    contains a false PAYE number and
tablet technology.                               terminate their current contract without        Staging Date and warns recipients that
   In late July, the e-payments company          penalty should they consider the new            they need to complete a Declaration of
wrote to its retail customers introducing its    arrangement was not suitable for their          Compliance immediately, with links to
new Payzone tablet but also detailing            business. Payzone also agreed to a 60 days      enable them to do so. For support and
changes to its terms and conditions,             notice period to terminate, as opposed to       guidance on how to prepare your
including the lengthening of contracts and       the six months initially sought.                business for pension auto enrolment visit
an extension to notice periods. Retailers           Speaking after the meeting NFRN chief        the NFRN website www.nfrnonline.com.
were given no time to consider the impact        executive Paul Baxter praised Payzone for
such radical changes could have on their         the ‘constructive way’ that it approached       DISTRIBUTOR CLOSURE
businesses or to terminate their contracts       the discussions.                                It has been confirmed that Comag will
without penalty.                                    “We are supportive of Payzone’s              cease to distribute magazines from
   The NFRN immediately contacted                technology investment and future business
                                                                                                 October 31. With just two major
Payzone outlining concerns and calling on        plans and will work with them to ensure
                                                                                                 magazine distributors – Frontline and
the company to suspend these changes.            that our members receive fair and equitable
                                                                                                 Marketforce – remaining, the NFRN
When no response was received, legal             terms,” he said.
advice was taken which clarified that while         Work would continue on a number of           news team is committed to keeping a
Payzone had a right to change contractual        important clauses and charges still within      watching brief to make sure there is no
terms unilaterally, there was a strong           the new contract that the NFRN believed         deterioration in service levels.
argument against it using this power to          required further review, he added.
lengthen members’ contracts without their           Payzone chief commercial officer Rupert      LEGAL TENDER
consent. The NFRN was also told that a           Lowery added: “We are totally committed         Don’t forget that old style £1 coins cease
court would be likely to regard Payzone’s        to our core convenience market and have         to be legal tender from October 15. After
attempt to keep members in its network for       spent millions creating a better retailer and   then you are no longer obliged to accept
longer than previously agreed as an unlawful     consumer experience which will bring            the round coins from customers and
restraint of trade, as well as being in breach   several improvements to retailers.              you should not distribute them. Any old
of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.              “We recognise the role the NFRN plays        coins can be deposited at most high
   A letter detailing these points – and         and welcome the chance to get things right      street banks.
warning of possible legal action – was sent      to the benefit of all sides.”
from the NFRN’s legal advisers.                     To read more about this NFRN win see         PUZZLE WINNERS
   On August 16 during a ‘full and frank         page 40.                                        Winners of the PuzzleLife Prize Puzzle in
                                                                                                 the July 2017 edition of The Fed are Joyce
                                                                                                 Janes of Bromfield Place, Penarth and B.C.
                                                                                                 Patel of Grange Road, Ramsgate.
                                                                                                 Congratulations both, your £50 prize is
                                                                                                 currently winging its way to you. To enter
                                                                                                 this month’s competition see page 63.

                                                                                                 NORTH WEST DANCE
                                                                                                 North West district is holding its annual
                                                                                                 dinner dance at the Sheridan Suite, 371
                                                                                                 Oldham Road, Manchester on Sunday
 LOTTERY CELEBRATES FALKIRK WINNERS                                                              November 5. Tickets can be booked by
                                                                                                 emailing suleman’khonat@btinternet.
 Stirling member Mohammed Hussain had a             Since The National Lottery’s launch in
                                                                                                 com or chris.appleton@nfrn.org.uk.
 taste of life as a millionaire when his shop    1994, Mr Hussain’s FK postcode has seen an
 was visited by a group of National Lottery      incredible 20 National Lottery millionaires.
 butlers to celebrate the number of big             He said: “We obviously know that a           LITTER EVIDENCE
 winners in his area.                            portion of each National Lottery ticket we      Following an increase in complaints from
    Bringing a bit of luck and joy to people’s   sell goes towards supporting good causes        retailers receiving tote boxes containing
 day at Allanwater Papers, the butlers paid      around the UK, but we were amazed to            litter – such as old packaging and even
 for people’s shopping, helped to carry their    find out the number of millionaires that        out of date bread – members are asked
 bags and assisted National Lottery players      have been made in our area.”                    to send photographic evidence to
 in choosing their lucky numbers with the           Mr Hussain is in the middle of the           marie.fisher@nfrn.org.uk. This will allow
 help of a special gold phone that was on        photograph on the gold phone, flanked by        the NFRN to raise concerns with the
 speed-dial to real local winners.               the butlers and Camelot representatives.        relevant news wholesaler.

                                                                                                      OCTOBER 2017 NFRNONLINE.COM 5
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
NATIONAL NEWS                                                                    For latest news, deals and views, go to

                                                                                                nfrnonline.com

 WITH THE HEALTH LOTTERY ‘EVERYBODY WINS’
 Until October 31 a new Health Lottery             A poster promoting the initiative can be                                                                  DISPLAY
                                                                                                                                                                           OF THIS
                                                                                                                                                                                        LICE NCE
                                                                                                                                                                                                        IS A REQ

 promotion will give customers the chance       found inside this issue of The Fed.
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                                                                                                                             08 Jul                                                  ending                                       and cove
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                                                                                                                             15 Jul                                                                                                                    of tickets
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                                                                                                                          26 Aug
                                                                                                                         02 Sep
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Scotland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ire & Humb
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                erside

                                                                                                                        16 Sep                                                                                                                                                   & Buckin

 voucher for Alton Towers resort or Alton          Meanwhile, new Retailer Licences                                     23 Sep                                                                        HealthRich                                                  Somerset                  ghamshire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             & Dorset
                                                                                                                       30 Sep                                                                        HealthFreed                                                  Gloucesters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    om                                                         hire
                                                                                                                       07 Oct                                                                        HealthExpec                                                 South Yorksh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    t                                                            ire
                                                                                                                      14 Oct                                                                        HealthRegar                                                  South West
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    d                                                          London
                                                                                                                      21 Oct                                                                        HealthPromo                                                 South West
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    te                                                         Wales
                                                                                                                                                                                                   HealthLevel                                                  Nottingham

 Towers Scarefest, Thorpe Park or Thorpe        are being distributed by the Health
                                                                                                                     28 Oct                                                                                                                                                  shire
                                                                                                                     04 Nov                                                                        HealthHope                                                  North East
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            London
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               North Yorksh

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                                                                                                                   02 Dec

 Park Fright Nights and Warwick Castle.         Lottery’s sales team and these also
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                                                                                                                  09 Dec                                                                       HealthHeal                                                               & Plymouth

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                                                                                                                  16 Dec                                                                       HealthDesire                                                 Lincolnshire
                                                                                                                 23 Dec                                                                       HealthShape                                                   Lancashire
                                                                                                                 30 Dec                                                                       HealthToget                                                  Dudley &
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                                                                                                        28 Apr                                                                       HealthShow
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 their ticket; go to www.healthlottery.co.uk    displayed to enable retailers to legally sell
                                                                                                        05 May                                                                       HealthDivers                                                            London
                                                                                                                                                                                                     e                                          Edinburgh
                                                                                                       12 May                                                                       HealthBright                                                             & the Lothia
                                                                                                       19 May                                                                       HealthLives                                                North & Mid                ns
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                                                                                                      26 May                                                                       HealthWhole                                                 Solihull &
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                                                                                                      02 Jun                                                                       HealthConfi                                                 East Londo
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 to set up, or access their Health Lottery      tickets and pay prizes for The Health
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                                                                                                     16 Jun                                                                       HealthAble
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 which is found on their ticket. A link will    2018. Again, a copy of the Retail Licence is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                & Strathclyde                                              Britain. For region of Great
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         more details
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           society lottery             on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          please visit      is running which
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Version 8.
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   time of print
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   - 01.06.17

 then pop up which will take them to the        being distributed in this edition of The Fed.
 Everybody Wins page where they simply          Any member who does not offer
 enter their email address and confirm. They    The Health Lottery but would like to do
 will then receive a unique code and a link     so, or retailers wanting further information
 to the Merlin booking page. Details of the     or additional point of sale material
 offer will appear on the front of the ticket   should call the Retailer Helpline on                           16+                                                        You Win. Good Causes Wiin. Eve    dy Wins. *O4UPSFq.PCJMFq0OMJOFXXXhealthlottery
                                                                                                                                                                                                       erybod                                                   y.co.uk
                                                                                                                Players must be 16 or over. Everybody Wins T&Cs, Game rules and procedures apply. Every Health Lottery transaction made between 28.09.17 and 31.10.17 entitles the ticket holder to claim a 2 FOR 1 day pass at either
                                                                                                                Alton Toowers, General Reso                                       owers, Scarefest (visit up until 31.10.17); Thorpe Park, General Resort (visit up until 01.11.17); Thorpe Park, Fright Nights (visit up un til 01.11.17) or Warwick
                                                                                                                                            ort (visit up until 31.10.17); Alton To
                                                                                                                Castle (visit up until 31.12.17). Retail and online players must register online at www.healthlottery.co.uk to claim this offer. There is no cash alternative. Full details can be found on our website. The Health LotteryTM logo
                                                                                                                is a registered trademark of The Health Lottery Ltd. The Health Lottery scheme manages 51 society lotteries that operate in rotation and each represents a different regional of Great Britain. For more details on which
                                                                                                                society is running each week please visit www.healthlottery.co.uk or ask your Health Lottery retailer.

 during the promotion period.                   0843 216 6500.

NETWORKING
EVENTS 2018
The NFRN’s programme of networking
events is being enhanced for 2018 thanks
to an exciting tie up with food and drink
wholesaler Booker.
   During each quarter there will be one
trade show each in Booker depots in the
north, south, east and west of the UK. This
means the two companies are combining
for a total of 16 events during 2018.
   At each, there will be special offers for
NFRN members along with the chance to
meet suppliers to hear more about their
latest products and services.
   Announcing the partnership, national
events manager Nigel Smith said: “This
year we have been delighted to host some
great trade shows in cash and carries and
news wholesalers all over the UK and the
                                                KICK OFF FOR BOMB VICTIMS
                                                Officials from the North West district helped kick off a football tournament in aid
hundreds of members who have come               of the Manchester Arena bomb victims.
along have benefited by seeing for                More than 40 junior football teams from East Lancashire took part in the Unite
themselves new products and promotions          the Community event at Witton Park in Blackburn to help raise funds for victims of
and hearing more about the NFRN’s Retail        the May Manchester terror attack.
Standards programme, the national lottery         District president Paresh Vyas, deputy vice president Salma Patel and national
and how they can enhance their                  councillor Suleman Khonat presented some of the 100 trophies handed out to the
newspaper and magazines offering. We are        winners and runners up.
very excited about our new tie up with            Mr Vyas said: “The events at the Manchester Arena on May 22 after the Ariana
Booker and look forward to meeting even         Grande concert were truly shocking so the district was pleased to get involved in
more NFRN members, and together                 such a worthwhile event and to help raise money for victims and their families.”
showing them new ways in which they can           Four branches – Blackburn, Manchester and Oldham, East Lancs and North
improve their businesses.”                      Manchester – generously donated £500 each to help victims.

6 NFRNONLINE.COM OCTOBER 2017
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
NATIONAL NEWS

UNITY TO PROMOTE HOME DELIVERY
Six national newspapers – The Guardian, i,     solution allows readers to identify their     “This website supports our independent
Mail, Sun, The Telegraph and The Times –       local HND retailer and there is an            retailers in providing and growing the
have joined forces to drive home news          introductory offer to help facilitate the     convenience of home delivery to
delivery across the country.                   transition from a casual sale to a regular    newspaper readers across the country
   The new delivermynewspaper.co.uk            delivered copy.                               on a daily basis.”
website is designed to be a recognisable          “In addition, readers can now easily
brand for consumers and retailers alike,       identify their local HND shop if they move
communicating promotions and offers            house or area, ensuring it keeps the
while investing in the future of the           customer within the HND network rather
newspaper category.                            than losing them.
   Significant investment has been made in        “HND is, and will continue to be, a huge
launching the site and the participating       part of independent retailers operations,”
publishers are contributing towards the        Mr Duffy continued. “It is key that as
funding for the ‘six weeks free delivery       publishers we collaborate to build on this
offer’ for every customer, and rolling out a   platform to help sustain and grow the
suite of POS to retailers up and down the      existing HND base across the channel.”
country to advertise the service.                 Over the coming year publishers will
   Speaking on behalf of the                   identify delivery black spots across the
delivermynewspaper initiative Mail             country and share these with the NFRN to
Newspapers head of retail sales and trade      help identify members that may be able
marketing Paul Duffy said: “We are fully       to offer a service within these areas.
committed to growing HND across the               Pledging support for the new initiative,
retail estate. The launch of this national     NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said:

                                                                                              HOME DELIVERY
                                                                                              HAVE YOUR SAY
                                                                                              Home news delivery – whether
                                                                                              provided by independent retailers or
                                                                                              roundsmen – is a vital community
                                                                                              service for millions of consumers, but
                                                                                              today, and for many reasons, it is under
                                                                                              increasing pressure.
                                                                                                 To get a full understanding of why
                                                                                              this is so and to enable the NFRN to
                                                                                              consider what steps can be taken to
                                                                                              ensure the longevity of this valuable
                                                                                              service, we are running a short survey on
                                                                                              our website and via NFRN Connect.
                                                                                                 If you currently offer an HND service
                                                                                              we would welcome your input. We want
                                                                                              to know how many HND customers you
                                                                                              have, the type of customer that you
                                                                                              deliver to and how your deliveries are
                                                                                              done – for example, by schoolchildren,
                                                                                              adults, pensioners or yourself – and how
                                                                                              all these factors have changed over the
                                                                                              past 10 years.
 DAY TRIP TO SAY ‘THANKS’                                                                        We would also be keen to hear more
                                                                                              about the issues that are impacting
 Northern news deliverers enjoyed all the fun of the fair with a day trip to Flamingo         on your ability to provide a good
 Land theme park and zoo near Pickering, North Yorkshire on Sunday July 9.                    HND service.
   The annual trip, organised by Northern district’s social committee, gave members              Any information that you provide
 the chance to say thank you to their hard working and conscientious young                    will be treated privately and will only
 employees, and more than 150 youngsters went along.                                          be used with your express permission
   District president Mike Brown said afterwards: “The weather was great and                  being obtained.
 everyone enjoyed a brilliant day out. Many thanks to Menzies Distribution and                 To participate please visit
 Smiths News for, again, sponsoring the transport, and thanks to Booker, Stockton             www.nfrnonline.com/hnd-survey or
 for supplying goodie bags for the Teesside coach.”                                           phone 0800 121 6376.

                                                                                                   OCTOBER 2017 NFRNONLINE.COM 7
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
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ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
LOCAL NEWS

YOUNG PEOPLE GRANTS
EMPOWER DELIVERERS
Two youngsters have been given the chance       have the satisfaction of knowing he has
to follow their dreams thanks to NFRN           made improvements that otherwise would
Empowering Young People grants.                 not have been able to take place.”
   While Ronan Donoghue from Melsonby              Meanwhile, thanks to his Empowering
in North Yorkshire experienced a once in        Young People Grant, James is off to
a lifetime trip to Peru with Camps              compete in the world martial arts
International this summer, promising kick       organisation (WMO) World Championships
boxer James Gayles is off to Dublin this        in Dublin. James, 13, has been kickboxing
month (October) to take part in a               for nine years and since 2016 has been
prestigious competition.                        competing at national and international
   As part of his four week visit in July and   level.
August, Ronan trekked to Machu Picchu, the         He delivers newspapers for News2U in
Incan citadel set high in the Andes             Leeds and his employers Martyn and Kate
Mountains, and participated in community,       Brown nominated him for an NFRN grant to
wildlife and environmental project work.        help pay for travel, accommodation,
   To pay for the £4,170 trip, Ronan, who       equipment and tournament fees.
delivers newspapers for Barton Stores and          Mrs Brown (pictured right with James)
Post Office in Richmond, North Yorkshire,       explained: “James has been working for us
applied for an Empowering Young People          for about six months and through his
grant to supplement the money he had            kickboxing we have seen him grow into a
raised through his paper round, car washing     confident young man.
and bag packing and by asking for cash for         “James is the current World Champion for
Christmas and birthday gifts presents. The      U12s (under 45 kilos). He has now moved up
NFRN donated £400 towards the trip.             a grade to 13 to 17 years of age and has won
   His mother Elizabeth told the NFRN that      the British title, so we are hoping for great   “These two examples highlight what the
Ronan had had an ‘amazing’ time.                things for him.                                 Carl Bridgewater Fund is all about – building
   “He completed projects working on               “Applying for an Empowering Young            the character of young people. What better
building bathrooms, irrigational channels       People grant was very straight forward. It      way to remember Carl Bridgewater than to
and a community centre. He successfully         was very rewarding to be able to inform         award grants like these?”
achieved the four day trek into Machu           James’ parents that a grant was to be             Application forms for Empowering Young
Picchu despite forest fires on other trails;    awarded.”                                       People grants are available from NFRN
he spent some time on a reed island on             Through the NFRN Empowering Young            Connect by telephoning 0800 121 6376 or
Lake Titicaca and enjoyed learning about        People scheme financial support is available    emailing connect@nfrn.org.uk. Mr Wagg
local customs.”                                 to young people who are keen to pursue          urged members to nominate deserving
   Endorsing Ronan’s application, employer      opportunities in a number of areas including    young employees.
Darren Wool said the teenager was               education, welfare, culture and sport.            Newspaper boy Carl, 13, died after
committed to his job and delivered              Contributions are made via the Carl             apparently disturbing a burglary at Yew Tree
newspapers in all weathers. “As well as         Bridgewater Fund.                               Farm, near Stourbridge in 1978.
learning new skills and languages, he will         NFRN benefits chairman Peter Wagg said:        See letters on page 12.

                                                                      CUP WIN FOR ATHLETE
                                                                      Promising athlete Issuf Sanha of Great Yarmouth High School is
                                                                      jumping for joy after being chosen as this year’s recipient of the
                                                                      Foreman Cup, which is presented annually by the Eastern
                                                                      Counties North East branch.
                                                                        Issuf is pictured receiving his trophy from branch president
                                                                      Debbie Turner and secretary Ralph Childs.
                                                                        This prestigious award was created by the former Great
                                                                      Yarmouth branch in memory of secretary Wilf Foreman and is
                                                                      presented to a local school athlete from the town who meets or
                                                                      comes close to national standard in their sport.
                                                                        Last year the Great Yarmouth branch merged with Norwich and
                                                                      Lowestoft to form the new Eastern Counties North East branch.
                                                                        Issuf, who is in year 10, excels in two sports – the long jump and
                                                                      running. His personal best is 11.3 seconds for 100 metres and he
                                                                      has jumped 6.03 metres.

                                                                                                       OCTOBER 2017 NFRNONLINE.COM 9
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH END CARRIAGE CHARGES - THE MAGAZINE FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS - NFRN
TRADE SHOWS

                                                                                 T20 cricket action at Durham

       HOWZAT! FOR A
       SUMMER OF SO
        This summer’s NFRN social events have ranged from a        Canny shoppers snapped
        trade show and tour of Menzies Distribution’s           up great deals on back to
        operation in Wakefield to a barbecue in Windsor Great   school offers at a trade
        Park for Berks and Bucks members.                       day held at Suman Bros
           Northern retailers and their families and friends    in Watford.
        could relax to the gentle sound of leather on willow
        with a trip to Durham Cricket Club for a Nat West T20
        match between the Durham Jets and Birmingham Bears.       Menzies Trade
                                                                  Show and tour

10 NFRNONLINE.COM OCTOBER 2017
TRADE SHOWS

 BBQ in
 Windsor
 Great Park

FUN PACKED
CIAL EVENTS                Suman Bros
                           Trade Show

              OCTOBER 2017 NFRNONLINE.COM 11
LETTERS                                                Have your say email anne@nfrn.org.uk

HAVE YOUR SAY
TALKS TERMINATED                                  reason Smiths has moved us back to 5.30             We have also added additional resources
As announced by John Menzies on August            am (official time). The problem has arisen       to our packing and returns teams to ensure
14 2017, talks with DX plc over the possible      because it has hired another driver – who        that we pack and deliver your supplies to
combination of Menzies Distribution and           for the last two and a half months has been      you on time, and to ensure we process
DX have been terminated.                          consistently late. His normal time to get to     your returns quickly.
   Following a trading update issued by DX        us is 5.50am (20 minutes after he should get        Some customers have also been subject
on July 14 2017 we undertook additional due       to us) but this means that if the papers are     to late delivery of magazines. Whilst rare
diligence work into the proposed deal.            late, then he gets to us even later than that,   and as a result disruptive, we work hard to
   After completing that work it became           usually arriving at 6.10am, leaving me 20        ensure that nothing impacts the newspaper
apparent to us that any transaction would         minutes to go through the papers and do          distribution and so have, on occasion,
need to be completed on different terms to        the deliveries.                                  implemented second runs for the magazine
those which we jointly announced in June.            He has even requested that I call the         product from Hemel Hempstead.
   Despite the fact that we continue to           office and request that they change my              Please accept our apologies for these
believe there is a strong strategic logic for     official time to 5.45am so he isn’t marked       issues and our assurance that we are
combining the businesses, and despite             down on his timing which I refused to do as      working hard to ensure distribution and
further discussion with DX plc, the John          I NEED my papers earlier.                        communication return and stay at a level
Menzies Board does not believe it is                 I have requested to be moved onto             acceptable to our customers.
currently possible to agree a revised set of      another round, which the driver has agreed                  Jim Sinden, Hemel group manager,
terms which would be in the interests of          to and can get the papers to me for                                              Smiths News
our shareholders.                                 5.15am, but for some reason this has not
   Menzies Distribution remains focused on        materialised.                                    MARKET SHARE
the three central objectives which we                My delivery has arrived after 8am five or     i launched just seven years ago and is a
outlined in our meeting with the NFRN             six times in the last month because the          lot younger than its competition, yet in
earlier this year:                                driver keeps breaking down – however, the        the 16 months of Johnston Press ownership
• Firstly, to build a national network for our    driver before him, whose van it is, barely       we have grown market share in the quality
  business that develops and supports the         ever broke down. This has caused me to lose      newspaper audience from 17 to 20
  long term sustainability of the route to        business as I appear to be unreliable to my      per cent.
  market for our newstrade partners.              customers. I even lost a paperboy because            We are now significantly investing in i to
• Secondly, to put Menzies Distribution at        the deliveries were so unreliable, he couldn’t   ensure an even brighter future for our
  the heart of retail logistics and parcels.      keep being messed around.                        national newspaper. This includes an
• And finally, to continue diversifying our                           Amit Lodhia, via Facebook    exciting relaunch of iWeekend that will see
  operations that enable Menzies                                                                   a much more modern, inspirational and
  Distribution to grow its presence in the        LETTER OF APOLOGY                                informative weekend reading being
  newstrade value chain.                          Copy of a letter sent to customers of            available on your shelves for your
   While a deal with DX would have                Smiths News, Hemel Hempstead depot               customers to enjoy. We will also be
significantly advanced our progress towards       I am writing to offer an explanation and my      investing in our weekday content in order
these objectives, it is by no means the only      apologies for the service issues you may         to provide readers with the news, comment
avenue available to us.                           have experienced in recent weeks from our        and features they have told us they want.
   Following the termination of these talks       Hemel Hempstead depot.                               We are hugely appreciative of your
we will continue working on the other                We suffered a number of significant           continued loyalty and support for i, Britain’s
options in front of us for the creation of a      issues recently including power cuts that        only concise quality newspaper, and as we
diverse, national logistics network – one         left us significantly behind in the packing      start to look forward towards 2018 we are
which will help us to extend the                  and distribution of magazines, and a system      committed to bring even more valuable
sustainability and profitability of the           fault on the telephone system that led to        customers into your shops.
newstrade supply chain.                           customers not being able to get through to                      I circulation, Northcliffe House
   You, as one of our core newstrade              customer services.
partners, remain critical to our future. I look      Both issues led to service levels that        EMPOWERING PERU
forward to sharing the next phase of our          customers should not expect and we               Ronan has returned from an amazing
plans with you in due course.                     apologise for the inconvenience this             expedition to Peru, where he completed
              Greg Michael, managing director,    has caused.                                      projects building bathrooms, irrigation
                           Menzies Distribution      We have reviewed our contingency              channels and a community centre. He
                                                  planning for power outages to ensure we          successfully achieved the four day trek into
DELIVERY DELAYS                                   minimise any impact on packing and               Machu Picchu despite forest fires on other
I have a newsagents in Huntingdon,                distribution in the future and corrected the     trails. He spent some time on a reed island
Cambridgeshire and my deliveries from             system fault in our telephony system.            on Lake Titicaca and enjoyed learning about
Smiths are just going from bad to worse.             We are, though, continuing to receive         local customs.
   For the last two and a half years we have      higher than usual volume of telephone               Thank you for your support of this
tried to get our deliveries for about 5am so      calls, and to ensure we answer these as          expedition.
that we can increase our HND business. We         quickly as possible, we have placed                                  Liz Donoghue, mother of
did get moved to an earlier slot, from            additional resources into our Customer                    Ronan Donoghue, Empowering Young
5.45am to 5.15am for a while, but for some        Contact Centre.                                                         People Grant recipient

12 NFRNONLINE.COM OCTOBER 2017
POLITICAL ISSUES

CARRIER CODE MOVES CLOSER
Efforts by the NFRN to get the government to support smaller         to make clear to their customers what they are being charged,
shops in England who charge consumers for single use plastic         and where the proceeds are donated.
bags have come a step closer following a meeting with civil             At the meeting the officials told the NFRN that ministers are,
servants at the Department for Food, Environment and Rural           in principle, supportive of the proposed scheme and that they
Affairs (DEFRA).                                                     share the desire to work with other trade associations to garner
   Despite an NFRN campaign, small independent retailers were        support across the retail sector.
excluded from government requirements to charge for carrier             While this indication of support is extremely welcome, more
bags when the levy was introduced in England in October 2015.        work has still to be done to agree the details with ministers and
Under the legislation, only retailers employing over 250             to encourage other trade associations to get their members
employees are required to enforce the 5p charge. However,            involved. The NFRN is confident, however, that with the scheme
under schemes in other parts of the UK, independent retailers        having the backing of DEFRA, other retail groups will want to
do charge their customers for plastic bags.                          promote it to their members.
   The NFRN is aware that since the levy came in many                   The NFRN had also hoped that ministers would consider a
environmentally friendly members have chosen to implement a          change in the regulations to bring independent retailers within
charge, with the proceeds donated to local good causes.              the requirements of the levy. It has become clear, however, that
   Now the Federation wants the government to support these          there is not enough parliamentary time available for any changes
retailers by getting behind a voluntary code that helps retailers    to be made.

CRIME DATA
RAISES                ISSUES
Yorkshire retailers were able to air
concerns about crime when David Smith,
a member of the West Yorkshire police
and crime commissioner’s team, attended
the district’s July council meeting.
   One of the issues discussed was the
removal of a crime-busting initiative that
enabled retailers to warn each other
when shoplifters or robbers were on the
prowl. Clarification was also sought over                                                   Pictured left to right are Packie Docherty,
measures that shop owners and staff can                                             Martin Mulligan, Peter Steemers and Bob Murphy.
take to defend themselves if attacked.
   Members also shared fears that
retailers who rang 999 to report crimes       NFRN PRESSES MINISTER
were not being treated as emergencies.
   Data collected by the NFRN and
tabled at the meeting revealed that
                                              FOR OMBUDSMAN
                                              Republic of Ireland officials and members     legislation and falling margins. Rising
between January 1 and April 30 this year      reiterated their calls for an ombudsman for   delivery charges meant that retailers were
there had been 64 incidents of retailers      retailers at a meeting with minister Kevin    now paying an average of €7,000 per year
or staff in West Yorkshire convenience        Moran at the Dáil Éireann in July.            for their newspaper and magazine supplies.
stores or newsagents being attacked,             During the meeting, the NFRN                  Speaking after the meeting, Mr Steemers
either physically or verbally, and 6,414      delegation – comprising district president    said: “Independent retailers feel embattled
shoplifting incidents.                        Peter Steemers, district public affairs       and attacked from all sides with no part of
   Mr Smith, who is the third sector          committee chairman Martin Mulligan and        the government looking out for them. We
adviser, promised to raise all the            retailers Packie Doherty and Bob Murphy –     want an ombudsman that we can go to if
district’s concerns with West Yorkshire       detailed the everyday challenges that         we believe that new government regulation
police and crime commissioner                 independent retailers faced and the           is overly burdensome, unfair or if the
Mark Burns-Williamson.                        ‘decisive’ actions required from the          actions, or inactions of other government
                                              government to overcome them.                  bodies, such as the competition authorities,
                                                 Mr Moran heard that the creation of an     will damage our sector.
                                              ombudsman could help to ensure retailers’        “We believe that by having an
                                              views on issues as diverse as licensing,      ombudsman, confidence in the future of
                                              taxation and competition were heard by        the sector can be rebuilt, bringing with it
                                              ministers.                                    new investment and innovation that
                                                 The NFRN explained how retailers were      benefits not just retailers but consumers
                                              facing increased payroll costs, electricity   and the communities we serve. It was a
                                              bills, banking charges and insurance          positive meeting and we were pleased to
                                              premiums at a time of heightened              hear Mr Moran pledge his support.”

                                                                                                  OCTOBER 2017 NFRNONLINE.COM 15
NATIONAL COUNCIL

LIVERPOOL PLAYED HOST TO THE
LATEST NATIONAL COUNCIL
MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 4 AND 5
AND THE FED WENT ALONG TO
REPORT ON DISCUSSIONS

AUTUMN UPDATE
Supply chain injustices                        charges might not be as difficult to          Mrs Sood promised. She also said the news
As the champion of the independent             comprehend, although they would still         team would keep a watchful eye to ensure
retail sector it is critical that the NFRN     remain unpalatable,” Mrs Sood said.           there was no deterioration in services.
highlights and tackles unfairness through-     “The recent performances from its                With some trade events planned for the
out all supply chains, said National           new Birmingham and Hemel hubs                 remainder of the year and with some
President Linda Sood.                          demonstrates that this is far from            exciting plans for 2018, she urged national
   In her wide ranging opening address to      the case.”                                    councillors to encourage members in the
National Council she vowed that:                  As well as continuing to challenge the     relevant districts to attend.
“throughout the coming year the NFRN           news wholesaler to think again, she said         “I know that we can equip our members
will continue to address any injustices that   she would be urging publishers to “think      with all the skills, knowledge and services
we are made aware of.”                         long and hard about the way the news          they require so they can react positively
   The NFRN had responded ‘quickly and         supply chain operates and to explore other    despite the challenging trading environ-
decisively’ to the news that Smiths News       ways to fund wholesalers that does not        ment and benefit from even more
was hiking its carriage charges by an          involve piling yet more costs on hard         profitable and successful businesses,”
average of nearly 4 per cent, adding that      pressed retailers”.                           Mrs Sood said.
it was inconceivable for retailers to be          The NFRN’s concerns about the                 She finished her address with a plea for
expected to fork out yet more to the           forthcoming duopoly in the magazine           national councillors to lend their support.
news supplier for a service that at best       distribution sector, with power                  “Progress can only happen if we
was ‘inadequate’.                              concentrated between Frontline and            work together, so I invite you today to
   “If Smiths News used the money it           Marketforce once Comag ceased to              all play a part in the future success of
recovered from carriage charges to truly       operate by the end of the year, would be      the NFRN, and more importantly of the
invest and improve its business, then such     shared with the competition authorities,      independent retailer.”

 NFRN TO DISCUSS DEPOSIT SCHEMES
 The NFRN wants to actively engage in discussions on systems         views and concerns could be aired.
 that enable shoppers to cash in their old drinks bottles and           Jason Birks from Northern district agreed, adding that it was
 cans to ensure the best possible outcome for independent            ‘very progressive’ of the NFRN to be involved. “England may
 retailers, explained chief executive Paul Baxter.                   follow suit so it is important that the scheme is shaped in the
    “We are at the forefront so we can understand how any such       way that we want it run, and that we get the best for
 schemes will work,” he said. “It’s important that retailers are     members,” he said.
 involved from the beginning so we can fully understand the             Peter Robinson from Wales said the benefits for independent
 benefits and agree who should be exempt. We want to make            retailers were huge, although there could be a
 sure that those who want to participate can, and those              challenge in physically siting the
 members who want to be exempt are exempt.”                          machines. “Customers are going to
    Under deposit returns schemes shoppers pay a small deposit       spend the money they get back
 that is refunded once an empty bottle or can is returned.           from depositing their returns in
    Mr Baxter said retailers participating in such schemes would     my shop. It’s a real sales
 benefit because customers returning their bottles and cans          opportunity. It’s not a
 would be likely to use the money refunded in their shops.           financial drain. Getting
    National councillors supported the NFRN’s stance on              involved is the right thing
 entering discussions on deposit returns schemes.                    to do.”
    Scottish national councillor David Woodrow said it was vital     To read more about deposit
 that the NFRN was part of any working group so members’             return schemes visit page 28.

16 NFRNONLINE.COM OCTOBER 2017                                                                                      Jason Birks
NATIONAL COUNCIL

 CAUSE FOR 100 YEAR CELEBRATION
 Celebrations for the NFRN’s centenary in 2019 will involve as many        Peter Robinson said: “London is the right city for our centenary
 members as possible, said head of events Mike Mitchelson               if we want to get the great and the good from government and
 (pictured right).                                                      the trade to attend.”
    To mark its 100th anniversary, the NFRN was proposing to hold          Mr Mitchelson said the venue for the NFRN’s 100th Annual
 a major celebration in London, with a second event in the north        Conference in June 2019 was currently being explored, with
 later in the year.                                                     Bournemouth, Torquay and Brighton in the running.
    Mr Mitchelson said: “We want to get as many members                    National councillors were also advised
 involved as possible, including those who have been heavily            that next year’s spring national council
 involved over the years.                                               meeting would be held at the
    “Hosting a major event in London would enable politicians and       Marriott Hotel in Bournemouth on
 senior industry figures to attend,” he added, explaining: “It’s a      Tuesday April 17 and Wednesday
 great chance to get MPs and business leaders along.”                   April 18, while the NFRN would
    National councillors agreed that the capital should be one of       return to Torquay for the 2018
 the venues for the celebrations.                                       Annual Conference.

Proposed merger                                concern when supermarkets are involved             Members
The investigation by competition               in distribution.”                                had advised
watchdogs into the £3.7 billion merger            Some members expressed concern about          the NFRN
of Tesco and Booker should be extended         product availability in Booker depots since      that from
into the whole of the grocery supply chain,    the merger was announced earlier this year.      September 1 retail
proposed Peter Robinson.                          According to Julia Bywater: “The range has    terms were being cut
    “The independent supply chain is           changed and there is empty shelving,” while      from 34p to between 10p and 20p,
changing so quickly and fundamentally so       Hitesh Pandya added: “We have no                 depending on the type of ticket sold.
the Competition and Markets Authority          availability or variety.”                        Retailers would also be forced to pay the
should widen the enquiry,” he said.               Naresh Purohit said Booker in Crayford        coach operator by direct debit rather than
    In addition to the proposed Tesco and      was now for caterers only. “The nearest          paying cash into a National Express account.
Booker move, the Co-op is currently in         depot will be Sidcup. That’s totally out of         Mrs McCloskey said that having received
exclusive talks to take over Nisa, while       order,” he said.                                 legal advice, the NFRN had informed
the future of delivered wholesaler Palmer         Mr Baxter said members’ concerns about        National Express that it could not change
& Harvey hangs in the balance.                 availability would be raised at his next         retailers’ terms unilaterally and was
    Mr Robinson felt these developments        meeting with Booker.                             therefore operating in breach of contract.
warranted a wider investigation by                Unveiling the tie-up with Booker in              She added that to open up discussions,
the CMA.                                       January, Tesco said it would create ‘the UK’s    the NFRN was seeking a meeting with
    “I would question how many smaller         leading food business’ and deliver significant   National Express.
cash and carries will be in existence in two   cost savings for the combined group.
or three years time,” Mr Robinson said,
                                               National Express terms
                                                                                                 LATEST UPDATE
adding: “The CMA should widen its brief                                                          After a meeting between the NFRN and
and look at the supply of grocery to           On behalf of members in the West
                                                                                                 National Express the direct debit proposal
independent retailers.”                        Midlands, head of operations Margaret
                                                                                                 was dropped. While the margin cut will go
    Chief executive Paul Baxter said the       McCloskey said the NFRN had gone into
                                                                                                 ahead, a working group has been set up to
NFRN could draft a letter of concern to the    battle with National Express over its plans
                                                                                                 explore new revenue opportunities for
CMA about the general shape of its inquiry.    to slash the margin that retailers receive for
                                                                                                 affected National Express retailers.
    Asked about the NFRN’s view of the         selling smart tickets.
proposed Tesco and Booker merger, Mr
Baxter said that it was welcomed, provided
it led to better service, better choice and
better prices for independent retailers.
However, he added: “There is always

       Peter Robinson                                Julia Bywater                                    OCTOBER 2017 NFRNONLINE.COM 17
NATIONAL COUNCIL

     Lobbying and meetings
     Lobbying activity is being stepped up to
     increase awareness of the NFRN and its
     membership, and to ensure that politicians
     better understand the hardships that
     independent retailers are facing and the
     effect that government decisions can have
     on their businesses.
                                                                       Andrew Taylor                                     Steve Archer
        Chairman of public affairs and
     communications Mike Mitchelson said that           of members that we haven’t previously seen          All NFRN members were encouraged to
     a dinner would be held in the House of             at branch meetings. These trade shows are        consider stocking trading cards.
     Commons Dining Room with invitations               proving to be a real success.”                      “We want members to become
     issued to specific MPs and ministers who                                                            destination retailers, so if you are not
     were sympathetic to the plight of                  Cover prices                                     stocking Match Attax I would ask that you
     independent retailers and who would help           Members affected by vicious margin cuts          think long and hard about it. And why not
     to highlight the NFRN’s concerns in                on regional newspapers should overprice,         become a swap shop and hold Match Attax
     parliament.                                        said Yorkshire national councillor James         events in your store?” Mr Murphy said.
        In addition to this, and following the          Wilkinson.
     election of new MPs after this year’s                 “To get our margin up this is the only        Councillors endorse N3
     General Election, the NFRN would hold a            action we can take,” he said.                    N3 received ringing endorsements from
     parliamentary reception in Westminster in             His Yorkshire colleague Andrew Taylor         four national councillors who said that
     February. This would coincide with the             agreed, adding: “Overpricing is definitely the   joining the company had transformed
     February national council meeting and              way to go.”                                      their businesses.
     would take place in the late afternoon or             Some national councillors expressed              Steve Archer said newspaper and
     early evening rather than the lunchtime            concern, saying that increasing the cover        magazine sales had been in decline in his
     receptions the NFRN had previously held.           price of a newspaper could send customers        stores, but on N3 advice, and after a shop
        The NFRN’s plans to meet with all police        to competing shops.                              refit he had reduced his news run by one
     and crime commissioners (PCCS) in England             Peter Robinson disagreed and said that        third and cut the number of publications
     and Wales would continue, said Mr                  news retailers should not shy away from          stocked from 600 to 300. His turnover was
     Mitchelson, and it was hoped that the              overpricing. “There is no downside. People       now up by 15 per cent.
     NFRN could secure a speaking slot at the           use our shops because we are convenient.”           “My range is better than it’s ever been
     Association of Police and Crime                       He added that the NFRN should lobby           and I am getting the right supply, but the
     Commissioners Annual Conference.                   the government for the removal of fixed          biggest saving is to my time. Thank you N3,”
        Mr Mitchelson appealed for all NFRN             cover prices. Publishers liked to have control   he said.
     members to play their part by meeting with         of the cover price, he added.                       Leeds roundswoman and sub retailer Kate
     their local MPs and PCCS to remind them of                                                          Brown said belonging to N3 meant she only
     the challenges facing independent retailers.       Trading card sales opportunities                 received the titles she was meant to get,
                                                        Independent retailers can score by stocking      while Gwen Patterson said that it had
     Trade show successes                               Match Attax trading cards, head of news          proved a ‘lifeline’ for the Northern Ireland
     NFRN trade shows run in conjunction with           Brian Murphy said.                               retailers who were members. “We fully
     cash and carry companies and at news                  “Many outlets have given up stocking          support it. Poor sellers have been cut out
     wholesale depots throughout 2017 were              these products but there are real                and members can refocus their businesses.”
     given a massive thumbs-up.                         opportunities to be had. Match Attax                Derby news retailer Alan Smith described
         Yorkshire national councillor Andrew           trading cards saw growth of 16.5 per cent        N3 as “the best thing the Federation has
     Taylor said: “The trade show at Wakefield          last year while sales of gifting tins were up    done in years. We have seen business going
     was a fantastic success. Lots of members           by 176 per cent.”                                forward. Any retailer who is serious about
     turned up and got lots of benefit from it.            There was a new trading opportunity for       news and magazines should join N3.”
     It’s just the sort of thing the district needs.”   Match Attax stockists in the run up to              N3 chairman John Parkinson said the
         Immediate past president Ray Monelle           Christmas, with advent calendars priced at       company was progressing well, membership
     agreed. “We have held several events               £20, which previously have only been             numbers were increasing steadily and N3
     throughout the country and have seen a lot         available in Tesco.                              retailers continued to outperform their
                                                                                                         competitors.
                                                                                                            N3 director Brian Murphy added that
                                                                                                         there was a 60 per cent discount for NFRN
                                                                                                         members wishing to be members. They
                                                                                                         could join for just 54p a day.

                                                                                                         Insurance cover
                                                                                                         The Retail Mutual had witnessed
                                                                                                         exceptional growth, with the number of
                                                                                                         covers rising to 4,804 – an increase of 552 or
  Gwen                                                                                                   13 per cent increase in 12 months, reported
Patterson                                                                                                chairman Peter Wagg.
                                                                                                            Its aim now was to move to the next

      18 NFRNONLINE.COM OCTOBER 2017                                     Alan Smith
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