Speaking exclusively to betterRetailing as the daily national approached its 10-year anniversary on 26 October, Bacon thanked independent retailers for raising awareness of the title “through word of mouth”.
“The i would not be around now if it wasn’t for the support of independent retailers,” he said. “Newsagents were able to recognise that it filled a space in the market and wasn’t a threat to existing sales of The Independent, as previously feared.”
The news comes as the newspaper was named Publication of the Year at the London Press Club Awards earlier this month. The judges praised the title, stating it “was admired for its concise writing”.
The title continues to increase its month-on-month circulation, according to the latest ABC figures, as it recovers from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, although its year-on-year circulation remains in decline.
Bacon stressed that retailers will be the first to benefit from the ongoing success of the publication, pledging that strong sales are expected to continue.
“i is a trusted brand that prioritises print,” he explained. “Our readers tend to be younger and have more money to spend, so it’s likely retailers would want i readers in their store. i and iweekend will continue to improve led by the strong relationship we have with our readers.
“We still believe there’s a significant number of people who’ve yet to discover it, so we will continue to invest in increasing awareness for the title.”
Speaking about the future of the newspaper, Bacon revealed plans to build on the work made during the coronavirus pandemic on home delivery and subscriptions.
“We’ve seen better recovery than all other national titles since a huge dip in March caused by people not picking it up as part of their daily routine,” he said.
“We invested hugely in promoting home delivery and subscriptions, and the i’s reporting throughout the crisis has been outstanding without sensationalising.”
He added: “With the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the coronavirus, the demand for reliable, accurate reporting has never been higher and that’s in the resilience of our circulation. Led by reader feedback, the i has evolved to a fuller read.”
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