The assault by Associated Newspapers on W H Smith’s planned new distribution system via supermarket chains, due to be launched next spring [WAMN: 29-Nov-00], has been joined by powerful magazine group Emap.

In a long-running war of words, publishers have voiced concern that the new venture will not only dominate distribution of publications within the UK but also threaten the future of thousands of small newsagents.

Emap has issued notice to WHS, Britain's most powerful distributor/retailer of newspapers and magazines, that it must re-tender for the right to distribute the Emap titles portfolio. The contract, placed via Emap subsidiary Front Line, is believed to have annual revenues of £150 million generating some £14m in profits.

Emap has invited WHS to re-pitch for the business, although it has spelled-out that a successful bidder must demonstrate commitment to small retailers as well as large chains.

News source: The Times (London)