Big Issue strikes deal for its magazines to be sold in Co-op stores

Vendors have been unable to sell them on the streets since 20 March because of the coronavirus pandemic

The Big Issue has agreed a deal to stock its magazines in Co-op stores after its street sales ceased temporarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The magazine is sold by some of the UK’s most vulnerable people as a means of lifting themselves out of poverty, and the charity said the agreement with the Co-op, which has 2,600 stores, would help to fund its work throughout the pandemic and beyond.

The move comes after the charity’s decision to stop vendors selling on the streets as of 20 March to comply with the government’s social distancing requirements. 

Magazines are also available online, and the public can take out three-month subscriptions to help during the pandemic.

The charity said subscriptions, digital copies of the magazine and donations would be split 50:50 between vendors and the charity’s services and magazine. 

The Big Issue has also partnered with the publishing platform Pugpig to launch a new app and digital edition during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The app will allow access to the magazine as well as “The Big Community”, a curated channel focused on the people and businesses coming together in this crisis to support the most vulnerable in society.

The first cover star of the online edition will be the fitness coach Joe Wicks.

Russell Blackman, managing director of the Big Issue, said: “Our income comes from street sales, and without our vendors on the streets we cannot support those who really need us now and in the future.

“We are delighted with the support from the Co-op, which operates at the heart of communities across the UK. The money raised will help to secure the future of the magazine and make a real difference to the lives of our vendors around the country.”

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