NFRN accuses Express publisher of pinching short-sighted penny

From March 28, weekday editions of the Express will drop from 80p to 90p.

The Saturday edition will drop from £1.30 to £1.45, while the price of the Sunday Express will also increase by 10p to £2.

This means that the profit margin for independent retailers selling the newspapers will drop from 20% to 19% for weekday editions and from 20% to 19.5% on Sundays.

NFRN National Chairman Narinder Randhawa said, “Besides this announcement failing the very people who have kept the news business going for many years, it also sends a mixed message.

“Reach only recently included pro-rated terms following price increases from the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People, while advising that all of its regional newspapers would follow suit.

“So it goes against the grain to now say that the same terms don’t apply to its Express titles.”

Randhawa added that since the takeover of the Express by Reach in 2018, sales have been on a downward trend and this is expected to continue.

He said: “While it disappoints me that the Express has failed to follow the lead of other national titles, Reach needs to understand that many retailers will recoup the reduced profit margin by charging their Express readers more for their home delivery copy.

“This will only continue the observed trend.

“While we understand that publishers need to increase cover prices to counter their increased expenses, such as newsprint, they seem to think that retailers have no expenses to cover.

“They see retailers as a cash cow and treat us nonchalantly, but they are slowly killing themselves by losing the support that only retailers can provide.”