Sales of Scotland’s new paper the National dip to 50,000

Newsquest executives step up pagination of pro-independence tabloid by 25% for Friday’s edition after Smith Commission report

The National newspaper
Newsquest raised the National’s print run to 100,000 for Tuesday’s edition. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Sales of the second edition of the new Scottish pro-independence daily paper the National are understood to have dipped to 50,000 on Tuesday, but huge demand from advertisers will see pagination rise by 25% for a bumper Friday issue.

Newsquest’s new tabloid, which runs with the banner “The newspaper that supports an independent Scotland”, launched on Monday, selling out of its entire 60,000 print run.

The popularity of the title – before launch 9,000 digital editions had been sold, priced at £1.50 a week – resulted in Newsquest upping the print run to 100,000 for Tuesday’s edition.

According to unofficial figures the second edition of The National sold about 50,000 copies. Digital subscription sales are thought to have climbed to about 11,000.

It is thought that the print run has been reduced to about 80,000 for Wednesday and Thursday.

One source said there was never an expectation of selling out the increased print run, but with so many retail outlets the object was to work out where copies need to be concentrated.

“People have said that they can’t buy copies,” said the source. “The problem is there are so many outlets sometimes they don’t get enough copies. There is a demand for it, but it is about trying to make sure copies get where demand is and we are working that out.”

The quick launch of the National also meant there has been a hitch getting copies into big supermarkets such as Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s.

Distribution is understood to have been sorted out with the big players, which could mean a bumper final edition of the pilot week.

Newsquest management will make a decision on whether to keep the National going by the end of the week.

“Early plans were for a run of just 15,000; it is about managing expectations. The response has been brilliant.”

The 32-page paper will be expanded to 40 pages for Friday’s edition on the back of a bigger than expected demand from advertisers.

Friday’s National will be reporting extensively from Thursday’s report by the Smith Commission, which was set up by the prime minister, David Cameron, in the wake of the vote against Scottish independence.

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