By Democrat reporter
The Big Issue will be made available to buy in selected shops from today, it has been announced.
For the first time in the magazine’s 29-year history, readers will be able to buy a copy with their shopping at the supermarket.
From April 2, Sainsbury’s will be the first major supermarket to stock The Big Issue in hundreds of stores across the UK and online. Newsagents McColl’s, Martin’s and RS McColl are also expected to carry the magazine shortly in 1,400 stores nationwide.
The moves comes as the magazine adapts to life under lockdown with vendors removed from the streets amid the spread of Covid-19.
Big Issue sellers usually stand outside Marks&Spencer in the St James retail estate in Dumbarton and outside McColl’s and the Post Office in High Street.
The magazine is dedicated to continuing to support the vulnerable people who rely on the magazine to lift themselves out of poverty, despite a total loss of street sales.
Readers old and new can buy the magazine from stores for £3 and 50 per cent of net proceeds will go into a vendor support fund. The other half will make it possible for it to continue its vital work with vendors now and in the future.
Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: “We have helped well over 100,000 people over the past 29 years, and on average we put £5m into the pockets of our vendors every single year. Now more than ever, we need your support. Our income comes from street sales and without our vendors on the streets we cannot support those people that really need us now and in the future.
“We are thrilled that the good folk at Sainsbury’s and McColl’s have partnered with us so that readers new and old can continue to buy The Big Issue during these turbulent times. As usual, we go half and half with our vendors. You can also buy a magazine online or subscribe for three months whilst your vendor isn’t on the street.”
It’s the latest in a series of innovations by The Big Issue to give readers alternative ways to buy the magazine and support our often homeless and vulnerably-housed vendors.