The big problem is to go on sale in supermarkets for the first time in order to make money for vendors without income during the coronavirus epidemic.
The magazine, which is normally sold on the street by homeless people, is to be sold in select Sainsbury’s and McColl’s stores after sales have ended. March 22 to protect the health of its suppliers.
John Bird, who created the Big Issue 29 years ago, said: “The future of the magazine is at risk if we don’t get £ 60,000 through magazine subscriptions or digital issues. If we don’t get it in a month or two, we will have nothing, because all of our income comes from street vendors. We have never set up large money banks and all the money raised is returned to the product. “
He added: “For health reasons, we stopped selling it on the street last weekend and we campaigned to turn the magazine into a digital magazine or a magazine that you can buy by subscription or in supermarkets and newsagents. “
Lord Bird said the plan was still to give 50% of the profits to the homeless vendors. “Until now, we have assumed that people work for money. It is a raised hand, not a lowered hand, but we had to suspend that. As the world moves towards documents, we need to make sure that those with whom we work also receive documents. “
Bird said the money would be turned over to homeless vendors across the country, and the organization was trying to locate around 500 vendors. He has already been in contact with 1,000 people.
“It will take suppliers longer to get the money than usual, but it will start to flow once the system is up and running. Right now, we’re building the system, ”he said.
Customers will be able to purchase copies from 164 Sainsbury’s stores initially, expanding to 315 over the next few weeks, and from 1,430 McColl’s stores, for the price of £ 3. The Big Issue will also launch an application.
“You can also buy a magazine online or subscribe for three months while your provider is not on the street,” added Bird.
Paul Mills-Hicks, Sainsbury’s Commercial Director, said, “We are proud to support a cause as important as The Big Issue Group, which exists to provide homeless people and those at risk of homelessness with the opportunity to earn a living. returned. Coronavirus has affected everyone in the UK, and it is important that we show our mutual support in these increasingly difficult times.
“We hope that by providing our customers with a way to buy a copy of the Big Issue, we can encourage people to continue buying the magazine, on which so many vulnerable people rely.”
Since the launch of the Big Issue in 1991, more than 200 million copies have been sold by more than 100,000 vulnerable people.