Newsagents are planning to boycott the Daily Star next week in protest at a planned price cut.
The Northern and Shell title is to halve its cover price across the week.
This means that newsagents who currently receive 9.68p per 40p copy will receive half that figure in future.
The National Federation of Retail Newsagents is not allowed by law to advise its members to stop stocking a particular newspaper.
But a group of 12 newsagents, called the National Newsagent Network (N3), has decided to delist the Star titles. It is allowed to do so because it is a limited company rather than a trade association.
N3 director of news Brian Murphy said: “This is an unwilling step by N3 which has been created to improve the trading strength and profitability of its members. But at the same time, N3 is not going to stand idly by whilst publishers slash its members margins to fund price promotions.”
N3 said in a statement that previously competition legislation has been “ruthlessly exploited by publishers over the years through successive margin cuts”.
The group's chairman Ray Monelle said “N3 is in the business of making money for its members and business partners by adopting the highest standards of retail to increase sales. But we are not a cash cow for publishers who want to use retailers to fund price wars on their competitors.
“Meagre retailer margins have to fund operating overheads, wages and ever-increasing carriage charges. Whilst this action is not our preferred choice of doing business, it was not a difficult decision for the N3 Board to delist titles offering uneconomic terms of trade.”
The National Federation of Retail Newsagents told Press Gazette that a number of its members have decided to stop selling the Star.
Other newspaper titles have yet to retaliate by dropping their prices. The Sun is however currently offering readers 12 weeks free home delivery.
The Daily Star currently has an ABC of 416,801, down 11.6 per cent year on year.
On a Sunday the title sells 261,425 – down 13.9 per cent year on year.
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