Sainsbury’s and McColl’s will sell the magazine during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Big Issue is to be sold by major retailers for the first time after vendors were asked to stop selling on the streets.
From tomorrow, customers will be able to purchase the magazine from Sainsbury’s and McColl’s in a bid to maximise sales until sellers are able to return to work.
It comes after the magazine acted to safeguard its vendors from the virus by asking them to halt face-to-face sales.
Customers will be able to purchase copies of The Big Issue in 164 Sainsbury’s stores, rolling out to 315 over the coming weeks, and 1,400 McColl’s stores for the price of £3.00. Sainsbury's will also sell the magazine online, and half of all proceeds will go directly to the magazine’s vendor support fund.
The move is the latest in a series of innovations by The Big Issue Group to provide readers with alternative ways to purchase the magazine and help support vendors up and down the country.
Lord John Bird, The Big Issue founder, 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.”
Paul Mills-Hicks, commercial director at Sainsbury’s said: “Coronavirus has affected everyone in the UK, and it’s important that we show our support for each other in these increasingly challenging times.
“We hope that by providing a means for our customers to purchase a copy of The Big Issue, we can encourage people to continue to buy the magazine, which so many vulnerable people rely on.”
Jonathan Miller, McColl’s chief executive, McColl’s, added: “We urge our customers to lend their help by buying copies of the magazine available at our stores to help the organisation’s street vendors who will be struggling to make a living as people stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.”