Guardian says Berliner boosts sales by 30pc

By Jean Morgan

The Guardian officially claims its sales had an average 30 per cent uplift during the first week of its life as a Berliner.

Industry sources put the average increase at some 80,000 copies
(about 23 per cent) and said the first Saturday’s sales were a hefty
570,000 – up 60,000 week on week.

In contrast, the sources said The Independent was down about 10 per cent and The Times one per cent.

The Times, however, claims these estimates to be wide of the mark and
that the newspaper increased sales by 4.16 per cent in the week The
Guardian launched.

The Guardian did not promote the Saturday issue, whereas its rivals ran promotions, but it intends to do so this weekend.

The newspaper is already soliciting more sales by handing out money-off vouchers at London mainline stations.

Valid
until the week ending Saturday 26 November, weekday vouchers knock 20p
off the 60p price, while Saturday vouchers reduce the price by half to
60p.

But some Guardian readers, just coming to grips with the
paper’s new shape and the vari-sized supplements, were disappointed
this week to find parts of the paper missing – the Review section on
Saturday had disappeared in some places, while on Monday there was a
dearth of MediaGuardians.

A Guardian spokeswoman maintained there
had been few complaints, just some “hiccups”, and the operation had
gone smoothly. But the switchboard said there had been “loads of calls”
and the problem line set up especially to deal with complaint calls
described the losses as experienced nationwide.

Readers won’t
have to wait long before they are getting the full Monty, though. The
newspaper anticipated there might be some obstacles when the paper
relaunched and chose to phase in mechanical insertion. It arranged for
some of the sections to be hand-inserted by retailers, paid 2p an
insert. Full mechanical inserting will be in place by the end of the
month.

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