The controversial magazine distribution diktat issued last month by Britain’s leading supermarket chain Tesco [WAMN: 25-Aug-00] has been put on ice pending further talks with publishers in an attempt to improve the existing geographic monopoly system. This, Tesco argues, is old-fashioned and inefficient.

The distribution row follows Tesco’s delisting of Gruner & Jahr’s five consumer titles after the publisher refused to join a new Tesco/WH Smith-owned national distribution system. G&J, now owned by National Magazine Company, has since lodged a formal complaint of “coercion” with the Office of Fair Trading.

High street news retail chain WH Smith, however, is in less conciliatory mood than Tesco and plans to push ahead with plans for a national distribution service as from October 2.

News source: The Times (London)