Trinity Mirror takes 'fluid' view after hiking The New Day to 50p despite weak sales

Trinity Mirror has unexpectedly doubled the price of The New Day to 50p amid signs the publisher is struggling with a strategy for the new title as sales falter.

The New Day: Sales have been far below Trinity Mirror’s target of a 200,000 daily circulation
The New Day: Sales have been far below Trinity Mirror’s target of a 200,000 daily circulation

When The New Day launched on 29 February, it said it planned to increase the price from its trial rate of 25p to 50p on 14 March, but it cancelled that move at the end of last week, except in Scotland.

Now Trinity Mirror has made a second U-turn and brought in the 50p price from today (17 March) in all of the UK.

It was a surprise move because sources close to the company had signalled last week that it could keep the price at 25p for an extended period.

An insider admitted it was taking a "very fluid" view and thinking "short-term" as it tries to target the female-focused title.

Sales have been far below Trinity Mirror’s target of a 200,000 daily circulation. Industry sources claim The New Day was selling an estimated 88,000 earlier this week, when it was selling at 25p.

A senior figure at a competitor title said the move to 50p was likely to push The New Day’s sales down further. "Nobody will buy it at that price," he claimed.

The New Day has not disclosed any sales figures but industry estimates suggest it had a paid-for debut on 150,000 on 1 March.

Since then sales have kept falling and Campaign revealed last week that circulation was estimated to be 103,000, 97,000 and 95,000 on consecutive days.

Anecdotal evidence suggests The New Day is suffering a high level of returns. At the Twickenham branch of Waitrose, Campaign counted 88 unsold copies of The New Day at 6.30pm on Wednesday.

Those close to Trinity Mirror maintain that The New Day is still in its infancy and is learning a lot about what works and how it can produce a paper cheaply with a very small editorial team of 25.

A source also suggested Trinity Mirror does not want to help rivals such as i and Metro by broadcasting details about its plans for The New Day.

Trinity Mirror wants the paper to be profitable by the end of the year or else it will close it.

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