The Guardian has announced a cover price increase, with corresponding changes to retailers’ margins.
From next Saturday (April 22), Monday to Friday editions will rise by 30p to £2.80, with pence margins increasing by 5.2p to 60.2p. Both the Saturday publication and Sunday’s The Observer will also increase by 30p and will both cost £3.80. The new margin for the Saturday Guardian will be 79.8p, an increase of 2.8p; the new margin for The Observer will be 87.4p, an increase of 1.7p.
The percentage margin will decrease to 21.5 per cent on weekday editions, 21 per cent on Saturdays and 23 per cent on Sundays.
The letter sent by the Guardian and seen by RN attributes the change to “record” increases to the cost of printing, adding: “We have endeavoured to hold our margins as long as possible.”
The Fed’s National President Jason Birks has written to the Guardian’s chief financial and operating officer Keith Underwood criticising the move. He said: “Neither retailers nor their customers will take this news well. For retailers, this could mean reviewing the profitability of selling the Guardian against other product categories and for customers it could mean buying the paper on fewer days of the week.”
The letter from the Guardian emphasised subscriptions, adding that a new subscription scheme called Enhanced Margin Uplift (EMU) would be announced soon.
“The federation promote the opportunity for our members to reward their loyal customers in this way,” said the Fed’s head of news Brian Murphy. “CPIs like this will drive more consumers to think about doing this but we are still a very long way off from subscription models dominating the marketplace and consumer shopping habits for most titles.”
Birks added: “The Guardian needs to be aware that while the Fed remains keen to actively promote print, not just to our many thousands of members but to readers too, retailers need to be rewarded properly to do so.”
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