'The Independent' announces launch of 'compact' version in North-west

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The Independent Online

From today, readers of The Independent in the North-west will find their newspaper available in two sizes. The version you are reading, the broadsheet edition, will be on sale in the Granada TV region alongside a new tabloid version.

The Independent has become the only newspaper in the world to offer its readers a choice of formats.

The "compact" version of The Independent ­ Britain's only quality tabloid paper ­ will contain everything you now find in the broadsheet. That means every story, every columnist, every picture, every feature. It will have the same distinctive look and feel and will be informed by the same qualities as the broadsheet, and will be sold, Monday to Friday, at the same price of 60p.

It will be available initially at retail outlets within the Granada TV area, but we hope to extend distribution to other areas in the future. The twin-format newspaper was launched within the greater London area on 30 September and proved an immediate success with readers.

Sales of The Independent have risen by a total of more than 20,000 every weekday.

Reaction from the newspaper trade has been equally enthusiastic.

"It's one of those ideas that's so good you don't know why somebody hasn't done it before now," wrote Bill Hagerty in the British Journalism Review.

In The Guardian, Roy Greenslade described it as "a true mini-Indy", while The Observer's Peter Preston said that it represented "the most innovative newspaper wheeze for over a decade".

Launching the compact edition of The Independent in the North-west, Simon Kelner, editor-in-chief, said: "The concept of consumer choice is not a new one, but this is the first time this idea has been embraced in the newspaper market. Our readers, particularly those who commute to work, have long expressed a desire for a more convenient format for their paper. From today, we shall be satisfying that demand in the North-west as well as the South-east."

Ivan Fallon, chief executive of Independent News & Media Limited (UK), said: "The success of the compact edition exemplifies the spirit of innovation that has always characterised The Independent.

"It is clear that readers find the convenience and attractiveness of the smaller size immensely desirable."

Should you have difficulty in buying either the broadsheet or the tabloid please contact our customer services department on 020 7005 2887.

We hope you will appreciate our efforts in giving you a choice, and whether you are still devoted to your broadsheet, or a new reader of the tabloid, we are sure you will let us know what you think.