Sales of the South London Press are up 35 per cent following its relaunch as a hyper-local series, according to figures released by the company.
South London Press managing director Peter Edwards said the figures vindicated owner Sir Ray Tindle’s belief in the hyperlocal publishing model.
At the beginning or June, Sir Ray announced that seven new paid-for titles were being launched in London as part of an overhaul of its 147 year-old paper the South London press.
The new titles replace the Friday edition of the South London Press, which had a circulation of 18,942 the last time it published an ABC figure – in the second half of 2008.
The titles cover the same patch as the South London Press but feature more localised content in Streatham, Brixton, Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Dulwich, Deptford & New Cross and Forest Hill & Sydenham.
Edwards said: ‘Three weeks ago, on 8th June, Sir Ray Tindle launched seven hyperlocal newspapers in South London. The first results are in on the success of that launch.
‘Overall the net number of copies of all editions of South London Press showed a 35 per cent increase over the previous week. Bearing in mind that this was the week when we had a double bank holiday and the schools half term.
‘Previously, holidays of this nature have resulted in a sales decline of anything up to 25 per cent compared to the previous week, so to go 35 per cent in the opposite (and right) direction is quite a remarkable achievement.”
Net copy sales in the postcodes for each of the new paid for editions compared to the previous week were said to be::
- Forest Hill & Sydenham South London Press up 69 per cent
- Deptford & New Cross South London Press up 30 per cent
- Dulwich South London Press up 28 per cent
- Streatham Soiuth London Press up 34 per cent
- Brixton South London Press up 28 per cent
The South London Press Tuesday edition has been retained as a standalone title serving “peripheral” circulation areas. It an ABC circulation figure of 15,583 in the second half of 2008, the last time that figures were published.
Last month Tindle bought nine free newspapers in Dorset and Somerset, the latest in a string of newspaper and magazine acquisitions over the past two years.
In February the group acquired two monthly magazines in Surrey and Hampshire from local publisher Life Magazines, and in December it bought the Chew Valley Gazette from Northcliffe subsidiary Bristol News & Media.
As a further sign of his confidence in the future of the local press, Sir Ray last month increased his stake in regional newspaper group Johnston Press to 8 per cent, making him the company’s third largest shareholder.
In total it has launched or acquired more than 30 titles since the beginning of the recession.