Shops braced for a dip in takings

NEWSAGENTS across Hartlepool are expecting to see their takings hit after the collapse of the News of the World.

The Sunday tabloid was axed on Thursday in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal which has caused outrage across the nation.

The paper, which has been running for 168 years, will print its last edition this weekend after being accused of hacking into the mobile phones of crime victims, celebrities and politicians.

On Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said it was seeking to contact 4,000 possible targets named in seized documents.

Many big-name advertisers said they were no longer prepared to deal with the paper before bosses at News International announced the bombshell that the News of the World was being axed.

Some newsagents in Hartlepool said customers had been in touch earlier in the week to cancel their deliveries when news of the scandal broke. It has not yet been announced whether the paper will be replaced on Sundays, though experts predict that the nation’s most popular daily tabloid, The Sun, may now print seven days a week to fill the void left by the News of the World.

Christine Chapman, a shop assistant at The Bungalow Stores newsagents, in Stratford Road, Hartlepool, said: “It will affect us. We get 200 copies and most of them sell, and we probably deliver 60 or 70 on top of that.

“It had been one of the best-sellers. A few have already stopped their order this week.

“I think people will just change to another newspaper, or stop getting one altogether.” Jean Rigby, a shop assistant at M&R Westhorpe Newsagents, in the town’s Mulgrave Road, said: “We have 133 copies on a Sunday. We have got a lot of customers who buy it and I should imagine we will be affected by it.

“It’s quite a shock to hear it’s going, but they shouldn’t be allowed to do what they are said to have done.”

Les Hind, owner of GS Hind newsagents in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, said: “It’s a big seller, we sell about 170 every week.

“I’m expecting The Sun to come out seven days a week, but whether that happens next week once the last News of the World is out of the way, I don’t know.

“I think people will just pick up another one of the Sunday tabloids.

“I think our general sales will dip a little bit after the last edition.

“But we have found people have been dropping it for this week anyway with all the controversy.”