Britain’s biggest-selling magazine TV Choice now in a price war with TV Pick, to the dismay of newsagents’ trade group the NFRN.
THE chief of one of Britain’s main newsagents’ trade bodies has slammed the publisher of the country’s biggest-selling magazine after it slashed its cover price and retailer cash margins in a price war with a newly launched rival.
TV Choice, from publisher H Bauer, cut its cover price to 20p to match the launch price of competitor title TV Pick from Northern & Shell.
But, while TV Pick’s now extended launch price included an 18p margin for newsagents, TV choice maintained its 25% margin, which meant the amount dropped to just 5p.
National Federation of Retail Newsagents president Alan Smith reacted furiously to the move and criticised both H Bauer and distributor Frontline.
“Why should I sell a magazine that gives me just 5p?” he said.
“When you calculate the time and effort involved in selling a magazine, from putting it on display to scanning it, taking the money and giving back change, 5p doesn’t justify the workload involved.
He suggested that newsagents would consider delisting TV Choice.
But an H Bauer spokesperson rejected the criticism and said it would vigorously defend its market position.
“TV Pick, despite promising the trade otherwise, offered no product differentiation and was merely out to cannibalise the existing market on the basis of price,” she claimed.
“The sheer volume of TV Choice sales more than justifies retailers continuing to stock it. We have had no confirmed de-lists in any store and a recent NFRN poll stated that the vast majority of retailers did not have an issue with TV Choice’s current cover price.”
But Smith hit back. He said: “Bauer claims that a poll on the NFRN website showed that retailers were happy with the cover price but this question was posed in the first week of the cover price war
and already one third of respondents were unhappy with the price and margin.
“We maintain that publisher Bauer and distributor Frontline have got this seriously wrong and need to improve either the price or the margin.”