Menzies Distribution has delivered new contracts with the Frontline Group, winning the magazine sales and distribution company’s business from previous transport supplier CM Downton.

The partnership will see Menzies Distribution providing Frontline and Seymour Distribution (together the Frontline Group) with wholesale distribution services to more than 25,000 retailers across the UK and Ireland as a key partner to 2025.

In addition, Menzies Distribution will provide primary trunking services for Frontline and Seymour starting this summer.

The operator said that as a result of the win it will now be responsible for the majority of primary trunking of print media across the UK and Ireland.

This latest print media distribution and trunking contract for Frontline Group follows additional national primary trunking and wholesale distribution wins recently secured by Menzies Distribution with Reach and News UK, with Menzies Distribution acting as a partner over multi-year contracts for these publishers.

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Menzies Distribution will open 165,000sq ft media distribution hub at Imperial Park in Coventry, which will serve the group’s network of 65 regional hubs across the UK and Ireland, later this year.

Greg Michael, CEO at Menzies Distribution (pictured), said: “We are delighted that the Frontline Group has chosen to work with Menzies Distribution until 2025 and selected us as a key trunking and wholesale distribution partner.

“This contract win alongside the recent similar trunking and wholesale wins with Reach and News UK will maintain a long-term sustainable route to market for print media and support Menzies Distribution’s wider diversification strategy to grow our network across the whole of the UK and Ireland to underpin newstrade as its partner of choice.

“Each day Menzies Distribution distributes more than seven million newspapers and magazines to more than 25,000 retailers throughout the UK and Ireland. We understand the demands of this time critical service and we have a strong track record for delivery.”

Mark Churchill, group supply chain director at Frontline, said: “We are confident that Menzies Distribution is the right partner for our UK and Ireland end-to-end magazine supply chain – collecting supplies from print site and delivering to retail.

“We look forward to working with them to deliver this new contract and help drive further improvements.”

CM Downton

CM Downton, part of EV Cargo, held the deal before.

An employee there, who didn’t wish to be named, described it as CM Downton’s largest contract involving distributing magazines to wholesalers.

"We currently collect from printers nationwide, consolidate, pick and deliver to Menzies and Smiths News depots on behalf of Marketforce, Seymour and Frontline," they said.

“Downton has told warehouse and driving staff that redundancies are likely,” they said.

Last year, Smiths News, secured a five-year, £750m, renewal with Frontline described as distribution contracts for the magazine wholesaler. understands that the deal with Menzies Distribution is complementary to the one struck with Smiths News in October.

A spokesman for Smiths News owner Connect Group said the result of the change would be that Menzies Distribution would now be bringing Smiths News the products instead of CM Downton.

This will see Menzies Distribution pick up finished magazines from the print centre for onwards delivery to four Menzies Distribution and seven Smiths News magazine hubs.

Print decline

Duncan Eyre, MD at CM Downton, said: “Downton has been consistently commended for its quality of service during the term of this contract, but unfortunately the decline of magazine sales has meant it’s now more sustainable for the distribution to be consolidated and taken in-house.

"Our employees possess both expertise and vast experience in this sector and a consultation process is currently underway which will see some TUPE across.

"Until that’s complete we can’t confirm if there will be any redundancies.”