A regional daily has revealed a newspaper sales boost for its Sunday edition during the coronavirus pandemic.
The trend has also continued into this year, with the MEN last week recording another 10pc increase on the equivalent 2020 sale.
The Sunday edition of the title was launched two years ago, although editor Darren Thwaites says it may never have come to pass had he known a pandemic was round the corner.
In a piece revealing the sales increase, he said: “It took the Manchester Evening 150 years to launch a Sunday edition. Had we known a global pandemic was just around the corner, we may have never done so.
“Launching a new newspaper in 2019 was rare enough. Many readers had already moved online and the MEN still leads that digital charge with the UK’s biggest regional audience.
“It certainly took some imagination to get a business case off the ground that involved ink not algorithms. It’s fortunate our imagination didn’t extend to a dystopian future of national lockdowns or the whole project would have been spiked faster than a bad story.
“But as we celebrate our second anniversary this weekend, the M.E.N on Sunday has a remarkable tale to tell – and it’s thanks mainly to you, our readers.
“The newspaper that started out against all the odds and then faced the unprecedented impact of Covid-19, is now possibly the fastest-growing in the UK.”
Craig Willetts, Reach plc’s head of circulation for Manchester, added: “Sales of newspapers have been incredibly resilient across all our titles despite the many restrictions in place – but the Sunday sale in Manchester is absolutely staggering by any standards.
“It’s fantastic to see there’s such a strong market for local news and sport at the weekend. Even with the various lockdowns and regional restrictions, the MEN on Sunday has gone from strength to strength.
“The support and response to the title by customers and the retail trade has helped grow the sale in the most difficult environment.
“It really seems to have become part of Manchester now as much as our Monday to Saturday titles have over 150 years.”