Stories from the newspaper retailers on the front line highlight how they are adopting their business to best serve their communities.
As Home News Delivery (HND) on the Deliver My Newspaper website passes 200,000 voucher orders, the News UK Field Team caught up with a few leading convenience retailers on how they are coping on the front line selling newspapers, offering a home news delivery service and supporting their communities.
The below stories highlight just how retailers across the UK are adapting their businesses and innovating for their staff, customers and local communities. From raising money for the most vulnerable, providing weekly activity packs for children and of course delivering papers to those in isolation.
These are three personal and emotive stories of retailers on the frontline.
David Lomas who runs Lomas News in Manchester has lost 60% of his turnover since his store had to close but he’s making up shortfalls with his home news delivery service. David has taken on the service himself and he’s out delivering every morning. He has staff in the shop from 8am to 1pm taking orders over the phone and it has been really busy.
David explained: “We have lost 60% of our turnover from this crisis and we are really relying on Home News delivery to see us through this awful time. People are paying up front in credit, it has been really heartwarming to get so much support from our customers. We are delivering to an extra 70 accounts every day and the phone just doesn’t stop. We are doing our bit for the local community by keeping newspapers coming out. Newspapers are a really good way to communicate what’s going on now and find out what is going on in the UK and in the world.”
Linda and Denis Williams, owners of Premier Broadway convenience store, enjoy working with and supporting the community.
The Edinburgh store owners have set up a community hardship fund, which they are matching pound for pound from their own pockets to help the most vulnerable in their community – Linda has also extended her Home News Delivery service with the help of her daughter Sophie.
Linda explains: “We are finding families including those self isolating using our home news delivery service more. We can offer a completely contactless service leaving shopping at their front door and be away before they even come to the door.
“We decided to start a hardship fund for our community for those struggling to buy food, electricity or gas which we will be matching pound for pound. It has very much brought out the best in most people.”
Robert and Helen Bellamy of Racca Green News in Knottingley, West Yorkshire were named in The Sun’s Top 50 retailers in November alongside Linda and Dennis and have also been seeing growth in HND and offering community initiatives.
Robert told us “there are very few papers left on the newstand at 9.30am as many people now have them delivered rather than coming in and buying them in the shop. We have set up a Facebook page where children can put forward a painting or drawing – every week a child drawn at random wins an activity pack worth £10.”