Urgent appeal launched by Big Issue amid fall in sales

The Big Issue has launched an urgent Christmas appeal as sales drop by 40%, threatening losses for its sellers across the country.

The magazine reported a projected shortfall of up to £100,000 a week for the organisation and vendors leading up to Christmas.

Sales have suffered as a result of the virus crisis, which has led to a huge fall in the number of people travelling into town and city centres, where many vendors are based.

The public was urged to offer support to The Big Issue, which expects sales to be down by around 40%.

During the last lockdown, staff were able to support vendors, with £600,000 being dispersed in the form of food vouchers, meter top-ups and other emergency aid.

Lavinia Neda, who sells the magazine on Llandaff High Street, Cardiff, said: “It is a very strange time at the moment and very worrying, I can’t sell 10 magazines in a week now – this has never happened to me in all my time at The Big Issue.

“I used to be able to sell five to 10 in a day before the virus. Some people who were my regulars before don’t buy the magazine now, they say hello and are still friendly but they don’t buy the magazine, I suppose because they are worried about the virus.

“It’s a bad time for everyone, not just Big Issue vendors. I hope it will get better, I’m positive it will, we have to be strong in our hearts and our minds, that’s what I tell my customers.”

Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: “Christmas is traditionally a big time for our vendors, with high streets bustling and everyone full of festive cheer.

“But if the current trend continues both our vendors and the organisation face a weekly shortfall of over £100,000 during this period.

“We are calling on the public to support your local vendor where you can. If you haven’t got a local vendor, please think about subscribing or making a donation to The Big Christmas Appeal, to enable us to be there for our vendors, both now and in the future.”

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