Express dips as tabloids cut prices

The red-top price war waged by The Mirror and The Sun last week claimed a mid-market victim in the shape of the Daily Express. Industry circulation estimates obtained by Campaign show that the gains made by the Express since slashing its cover price to 20p in the Carlton region three weeks ago have disappeared in the last week.

With cover prices for The Sun and the Daily Mirror now matching the Express' Carlton-area price cut, national estimates for the week ending 19 May show Monday to Saturday sales for the Express falling significantly compared with the previous week. With sales for the 6 May Bank Holiday excluded, the Express' circulation falls 2.5 per cent to 932,000, while the Mirror and Sun's sales rise by 6.8 and 4.6 per cent respectively. If Saturdays, on which the red-top price cuts were not operating, are excluded, The Express' sales fall by 4.06 per cent to 879,800.

Compared with the week ending 5 May, which was not affected by a Bank Holiday, The Mirror's sale rises 11.6 per cent over last week's Monday to Friday period.

Circulation for the 40p Daily Mail has remained relatively stable over the last week, with circulation declining 0.4 per cent.

"The ones really suffering are the Express and the Daily Star,

Piers Morgan, the editor of The Mirror, said.