Neasden newsagent accuses Metro newspaper of trying to destroy his business

Mr Anton has been running his newsagent for more than 25 years

Mr Anton has been running his newsagent for more than 25 years - Credit: Archant

A newsagent based in Neasden Station has accused newspaper bosses of trying to destroy his business by employing merchandisers to hand out free copies to commuters.

Andarajah Anton, 57, who runs Adrian’s Newsagents, says he has lost £40-a-day in sales since Metro changed the way they distribute their daily paper three weeks ago.

He claims customers who usually visit his shop to buy a paper have stopped doing so which has also had an effect on sales of his other merchandise.

The father-of-two, who lives in Hay Lane, Kingsbury, with his wife of 30 years Premalatha, told the Times if they continue to place the paper in people’s hands rather than leave them in dump bins he will go out of business after more than 25 years of trading.

He said: “Newspapers are our most popular product. When people come in to pick up a paper, they will also grab a chocolate bar, crisp, drink etc which is good for business.

“But because they are now given a free paper by the main gate, they do no want to come in anymore.

“Sooner or later, I will not be able to afford my rent and business rates.

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“They (Metro) are killing off my business.”

Mr Anton said he contacted Transport for London (TFL) in a bid to stop the activity but was told they were unable to intervene because the paper was being distributed on public land not inside the station.

A TFL spokesman confirmed to the Times this was the case.

Calling for action to be taken, Mr Anton added: “There is a Metro bin already at the station which is damaging my business. This makes the problem even worse.

“I want them to leave.”

A spokesman for Metro said the merchandisers were being used across the UK to measure demand for the paper raise its visibility.

He added: “This is a trial exercise and the merchandiser is a temporary measure.”

The trial is due to end tomorrow.

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