A decision to deliver newspapers and magazines to retailers 90 minutes earlier than usual during the Olympics in London has allowed Menzies Distribution to record a 100% success rate in London during the first few days of the Olympics.
The arrangement, which followed negotiations with publishers who agreed to work to earlier deadlines, means independent shops and chain retail stores on the Olympic Route Network and nearby Games venues have had usual stock levels ready to be sold in store despite speculation about disruption.
Grant Keogh, Menzies Distribution Centre Manager at the South East London Branch in Greenwich, said: "We run a time critical delivery service so we can’t afford delays, regardless of circumstance.
"Obviously there was a lot of speculation before the Olympics began about the traffic disruption and problems with deliveries and we put in as much preparation as we could to ensure we were not adversely affected. I’m pleased to say that so far it looks like that preparation has paid off.
"The publishers have been fantastic at getting the product to us earlier than usual, and we have introduced extra vehicles and staff on hand to ensure our service is as efficient and effective as possible in London during the Games."
As well as earlier deadlines, the wholesaler introduced a raft of additional security measures including issuing photo identification to all drivers and extra guards at its two London branches in Bow and South East London.
Keogh said: "We take issues of security very seriously so we invested in photographic identification cards for all our drivers so they can prove they are who they say they are when they deliver to Olympic venues. To ensure none of our vans or deliveries can be tampered with we have extra security during the day and night at our depots."
He added: "We are very keen that our customers are able to take advantage of the sales opportunities the Olympics present. Our customers recorded an average newspaper sales increase of four per cent as the Olympic Torch relay passed by or near their shops, and in London sales picked up by 10 per cent.
"Since the Games began stores at Stratford International and London Victoria have increased almost three-fold, which is great news for everyone."