Teresa has written to Ministers and the Office of Fair Trading to urge them to support the National Federation of Retail Newsagents Press for Reform campaign.
Teresa has been contacted by three newsagents in her constituency – The Front Page Shop in Thamesmead, Reads Newsagents in Erith and Belvedere News Food & Wine – asking her to back the campaign for better regulation of the wholesale newspaper and magazine sector. She has also been sent a petition from The Front Page Shop signed by many of their local customers.
Many independent retailers believe their existence is threatened by a monopoly of the two remaining wholesale distributors and a few powerful publishers who control the supply and retail selling prices of newspapers and magazines. This means that small retailers often face arbitrary delivery charge hikes, margin cuts and poor service which also impacts on consumers.
Currently there is no effective regulation of the wholesale newspaper and magazine industry which is why Teresa is supporting the call for the Office of Fair Trading to refer the sector to the Competition Commission for a market investigation. She has also signed a parliamentary motion – EDM 2246 on news and magazine wholesale reform – to help keep the pressure up.
“I know that just over 11% of all independent retail newsagents have shut up shop in the last 5 years, and I’m concerned about the role that restrictive market conditions have played in that. There should be proper regulation in the wholesale newspaper and magazine sector to make sure there are fair trading conditions for everyone.
“I’m very happy to support our great local independent retailers and have written to Ministers as well as the Office for Fair Trading as part of their consultation on whether to refer the sector to the Competition Commission for a review. A decision is scheduled for early Next Year and I hope they will recommend a referral because I know there is real support for it amongst independent retailers and their customers.”