Published by: Joe Lenane | Published Date: 19th October 2012
A weekly round-up of the latest industry headlines including news that a decision on licensing and regulating e- cigarettes will be made next spring.
Despite pressure from supermarkets for a Christmas Sunday trading extension, a trade minister has made a pledge to the NFRN there will be no repeat of August’s controversial Olympic relaxation.
Questioned by national councillor Mike Mitchelson at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham last week, minister of state for business and enterprise Michael Fallon told NFRN delegates that further Sunday trading changes would not have the backing of enough MPs.
“Mr Fallon gave us an assurance that any changes to Sunday trading laws would have to go through Parliament. It would require primary legislation, and that’s the important thing,” said Mr Mitchelson.
“He told us the government was clear that the Olympic extension was not a Trojan horse and it was very doubtful it would have the backing of the majority of MPs needed to get through Parliament.”
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency published responses to a consultation on e-cigs last Match, but said it needed more information before making a decision.
The target date was revealed by health minister Norman Lamb in a written answer to a Parliamentary question from MP Diane Abbott who wanted to know what plans he had to regulate the products and what assessment had been made of the risks to public health they posed.
He said: “The MHRA is co-ordinating further scientific and market research with a view to making a final decision on the application of medicines regulation in spring 2013.
Independent retailers are to get extra supplies of top-selling magazines as part of an industry-first trial to help boost sales.
Smiths News has launched a pilot scheme that will redistribute excess stock of the 75 biggest selling monthlies from supermarket shelves.
Epos data will tell the wholesaler if there are likely to be unsold copies after the first week of sale and box them out to retailers who have signed up.
The trial is so far limited to shops which are designated Smiths News ‘Stores of Distinction’ and are served from Borehamwood, Slough, Nottingham or Newport.
Honest retailers are struggling to compete with rogue shopkeepers selling illegal duty-free alcohol across swathes of the UK, says the boss of Bargain Booze.
Keith Webb, acting managing director of the symbol group, said there were “no go areas” where his company would not consider opening stores in Birmingham, Derby and the Wirral.
Mr Webb said warehouses had sprung up offering bootleg booze to retailers at up to £5 less than prices at legitimate wholesalers.
The comments came on BBC radio’s File On Four programme examining the booming black market in alcohol fraud, which is costing the country £1.2bn a year.
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