Is there a MyWaitrose effect?

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 20.58.45Good news! trumpets an email from Waitrose. From tomorrow the minimum spend needed to get a free broadsheet paper falls back to £5.00 between Monday and Friday; at the end of April they’d increased this to £10 (this price point stays for Saturday and Sunday papers).

If you don’t know Waitrose’s promotion it’s quite a simple deal. If you’re a MyWaitrose card holder then as long as you have £5.00 of groceries in your basket (believe me, not at all hard at Waitrose) you can add one of the papers in the offer for nothing (they ring it through the till and then deduct the amount off the total bill).

I’m fascinated by this promotion and whether it might be connected to a recent slowdown in the sales fall for some newspapers. In April the Guardian was down just 0.3% on its sales in April 2013, The Telegraph down 2.5%, The Times 2.2% and the Mail 5.5% (the Independent was down a whopping 14.4%). Compared to the huge falls of the past few years these almost seem like good news for the print press. (more…)