Evening Standard moves to home delivery to maintain reach
As Londoners abandon the capital's streets and transport network in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, free-sheet The Evening Standard has said it will begin delivering direct to people's homes.
As well as up-weighting the volumes of copies to functioning retailers, as of Monday publisher ESI Media will begin distributing copies directly to people’s houses in 26 neighbourhoods in Zone Two and Three.
It is the first time in the publication's history that vans and delivery teams will home deliver, with hundreds of thousands of copies posted each working day.
"In common with almost our entire office, so many Londoners have found themselves WFH and as a result the streets, particularly in the centre of town, have been much quieter than normal," said Mike Soutar, CEO, in a note to staff.
"And we expect this trend to increase, as the outbreak continues and transport services reduce further."
According to the latest ABC circulation figures, The Standard had a circulation of 787,447 in February as the first cases of the virus were reported in the UK.
More recently, the title said it had secured a four-day average 642,000 copies per day, with pick-up in suburban supermarkets such as Waitrose and Sainsbury’s increasing as numbers declined on the streets.
ESI will temporarily reduce the number of distributors at central travel points in anticipation of further restrictions, taking hundreds of merchandising staff from the streets where they will be re-deployed into the home delivery network.
"In total we will be targeting 500,000 copies per day which we believe is an appropriate scale in the circumstances," Soutar said.
One of London's other free-sheets, City A.M., has suspended print publication.