404,540 sold - Apr 13, 2008 (ST)

BackApr 13, 2008

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

404,540 sold

The revamped Sunday times debuted last week with an impressive gain of more than 200,000 in sales.

Apr 13, 2008
The Straits Times

The new-look Sunday Times made its debut last week with an impressive gain of more than 20,000 copies in sales.

An average of 384,000 copies are normally sold every Sunday, but last week's edition saw 404, 450 copies sold.

The revamped paper carries more hard news, in-depth features and columns, plus a new design. Sections such as Invest, Sport and LifeStyle have introduced new features.

Mr. Han Fook Kwang, editor of The Straits Times, said: "We are delighted with the increased circulation and response from our readers. That is what we wanted to achieve, to make it a must-read Sunday paper with as wide an appeal as possible and win over new fans."

Mr. Chua Wee Phong, executive vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings' circulation department, attributed the circulation boost to the content revamp, which was tweaked according to feedback gathered previously.

"It's all about the content," he said. "It must be seen to be affecting everybody's lives, and we will continue to garner such feedback to improve the product."

Promotions such as giveaways helped. During this month, readers who match redemption coupons found in retail copies of the Saturday edition of The Straits Times and The Sunday Times will receive freebies such as movie tickets.

Advertisers, too, approve of the paper's new look, including the story blurbs on the cover page and clear signals to guide readers to different sections.

Mr Oh Thay Lee, director of corporate affairs of property giant Far East Organization, said: "This revamp is more eye-catching and appealing to readers. The increase in readership will certainly lead to higher advertising placements in The Sunday Times."

Telco StarHub's head of marketing Iris Wee, in praising the design as refreshing and livelier, described the paper as being "in line with the Sunday chill-out feeling."

She said: "Sunday is a critical buy for us because the nature of the stories requires higher-involvement reading, so readers will pay more attention to advertisements too."

Sunday Times editor Sumiko Tan said the team will work to improve the product further and welcomes feedback on the stories and design.