INTRODUCING AN OPEN LETTER to the Rt Revd Paul Hendricks, Chairman of the Catholic Truth Society’s Board of Management, and to Mr Fergal Martin, the Society’s General Secretary, St Paul’s Bookshop describes Christian booksellers as being “up in arms” over restrictive trade terms on the new Roman Missal, due for publication later this year.
According to the letter, CTS have advised retailers that the new Missal will only be made available at a “non-negotiable” 10% trade discount, terms that completely undermine any viability for bookshops hoping to carry the books and, for those that do decide to stock them anyway, deny them the possibility of supplying church and school customers — many of whom might well be expected to place bulk orders — at a discount.
The letter points out that in placing such restrictive terms on the book, CTS have cornered the marketplace, giving themselves an effective monopoly on sales. CTS themselves stand to benefit enormously from the windfall of being chosen as the Missal’s publisher, but rather than respond in the generous spirit that one might expect — by sharing that windfall with their trade partners to maximise distribution opportunities through other outlets — CTS appear to have opted to capitalise on their good fortune for their own ends.
The letter appeals to Messrs Hendricks and Martin to “initiate immediate discussion and negotiation with the C.T.S. in order that normal supply terms can be established to the book trade.”
The letter has been signed by representatives of over a dozen Christian bookshops around the UK.