Friday, May 19, 2006
W H Smith Takes The Economist Off Its Shelves
W H Smith has always been a major player on our high streets. But it is threatening to get above itself. I remember well the terms they would demand from publishers under threat of boycott. Indeed, they won't be stocking The Little Red Book as they can't be bothered with small publishers. They're now trying to extort better terms out of magazine publishers, with the result that they have stopped selling The Economist in their 500 retail shops because they won't give in to W H Smith's commercial demands. Although the magazine still remains on sale in their W H Smith travel outlets Smith's refusal to sell it in their major high street stores will undoubtedly hit The Economist's sales hard. It is, of course, a free market, but this is yet another example of a major retailer throwing its weight around in a manner which can in no way be seen as a benefit to the consumer.