Newspaper groups are continuing with offers to provide free delivery to readers despite the government’s latest restrictions on movement and the closure of most stores during the Covid-19 virus crisis.
Both national and regional publishers have taken steps to offer readers free delivery of their titles as the public are instructed to self-isolate.
Fears that news agents and other outlets would be ordered to close have been allayed with confirmation that such stores can remain open. Now publishers say they will continue with offers of delivery.
Ranging from six to 12 weeks, publishers are offering to help readers who would normally visit news agents and other outlets to pick up their daily paper with the offer of free home delivery.
Readers would still have to pay for the papers they buy and it is hoped that once the crisis passes new delivery customers will remain loyal readers either through continued delivery or reverting to buying papers in shops and stores.
The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday are among titles who have offered free delivery, in this case for six weeks.
Roland Agambar, DMG Media’s chief marketing officer, said: “As a sign of the critical role that newspapers play in a time of crisis, the circulation of the Mail and Metro titles has remained remarkably resilient despite the challenging circumstances.
“However, we are adapting to the unprecedented circumstances by finding the safest way to continue providing essential and informed advice around the Coronavirus.
“Mail Newspapers have responded by offering free home delivery for six weeks to make sure information is easily accessible through the crisis. As a sign of how much this service is valued, a significant number of people have signed up for the offer, with tens of thousands of people registering for it in the first week.
“In the cities, Metro still has an important role to play for the key workers who will be using the transport network and we will continue to support them.”
The Sun newspaper has also invited readers to opt for a free delivery model, this time for 12 weeks. Sun readers can send for vouchers which are then provided to the news agent or store to cover the cost of delivery.
Glasgow-based sister titles the Daily Record and Sunday Mail have joined Reach’s national titles – The Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, the Mirror and Sunday Mirror, in also offering 12 weeks free delivery to readers.
John Howard, Reach circulation director, told website HoldTheFrontPage (HTFP): “With thousands of our loyal readers now staying close to home, we felt it was crucial that we offer them a safe way to get their favourite paper.
“This is clearly the time to come together as an industry and confront challenges together and I suspect we’ll continue to see this happen over the coming months.”
The regional press are also offering a variety of delivery offers, including the Birmingham Mail which is promoting a 40 per cent discount on home delivered copies.