Politicians, publishers and wholesalers pledged their support for independent retailers at two key meetings in Dublin this week. The meetings were organised as part of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents' (NFRN) celebration of 100 years existence in Ireland.
At the NFRN's National Council meeting at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel on September 6, TD Minister for the Office of Public Works and Flooding Sean Canney congratulated the organisation on its longevity: “You are the backbone of our economy. I salute you for your efforts in providing employment and services in the local community. We must all work together to ensure this continues.”
Mr Canney sympathised with independent retailers for the challenging trading environment but pledged to work with the NFRN to ensure the survival of its members. “We will highlight your issues and challenges and will do what we can to help you to stay in business," he promised.
Mr Canney was joined by TD Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran who promised the NFRN that “your voice will be heard,” adding: “In government we want to make changes to help small businesses.”
Meanwhile on September 5, representatives from the Irish national and regional newspapers, magazines and news wholesalers gathered in Dublin to discuss challenges facing the news supply chain and, after intense discussions, committed to take the NFRN’s concerns into consideration.
During the meeting independent retailers expressed concerns about unfair competition and a lack of progress by the industry body COPPI. The NFRN explained to publishers and wholesalers that excessive dual carriage charges were undermining the importance of newspapers and magazines in store and that alternatives needed to be considered.
Speaking after the meeting, NFRN Chief Executive Paul Baxter said: “The NFRN left publishers and wholesalers in no doubt of the impact that some of their current practices were having on independent retailers throughout Ireland. We were pleased to get so many representatives in one room to discuss our concerns frankly and that they have promised to take these away for further reflection.”
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