EXCLUSIVE: New Guardian partnership with PaperRound to boost HND sales

Guardian boss Robert Rattley said the new system improves on the 'quite involved' existing sign-up processes

The Guardian Observer

The Guardian is set to launch a new HND platform this autumn in partnership with PaperRound, designed to deliver more subscription sales for stores and HND agents.

An email sent from PaperRound director John Harris to PaperRound retailers last month described an “exciting new project” with Guardian News & Media (GNM) to have retailers deliver to customers who take out subscriptions with them.

The email promised that GNM will pay retailers “the full cover price of the paper plus your delivery charge” for each of the “many existing readers” it expects to sign up. Payments will be made weekly using i-movo, which the email from PaperRound says will produce “no bad debt issues” as well as improving cash flow “compared to traditional paper vouchers”.

GNM head of retail and print subscriptions Robert Rattley told Better Retailing the new system improves on the “quite involved” sign-up processes under the current system and that the new platform’s simpler “one sign-up and one payment” process would lead to more readers taking out print subscriptions.

He explained: “We’re aiming to sign up readers who have not yet subscribed and who are attracted by the convenience of delivery. We’ll also look to sign up existing subscribers who want delivery but haven’t been able to find a news deliverer in their area. Delivered subscriptions are likely to be a significant share of our new subscriptions once we are live.”

An enhanced margin uplift (EMU) is already available to retailers selling subscription copies of the Guardian and Observer using i-movo vouchers. Rattley confirmed that GNM would continue to offer two routes to subscription, “via subscription card for casual pick-up or delivered subscription for the convenience of having the newspaper delivered to your door”.

Harris told Better Retailing: “This is similar to the Mail subscription platform that launched last year. All PaperRound retailers can opt into this platform, meaning if a Guardian reader subscribes to receive a home-delivered copy, the order will drop onto their PaperRound and the retailer will deliver it. Then they will be paid the full cover price of the paper, plus their delivery charge – the retailer controls what their delivery charges are, plus the EMU payment.”

Rattley added: “We’re making the delivered subscription proposition more simple. For those with or considering PaperRound and partnering with us, this means additional payments through our EMU scheme, a protection from bad debt – you’re paid directly by GNM for deliveries made – faster payments, and retailers benefit from marketing and offers that we’ll make to readers.”

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