SAINSBURY'S has become the first major retailer to sell The Big Issue, as of today.

McColl's will also stock the magazine after it recently had to take the decision to safeguard its vendors by asking that they stop selling on streets across the UK.

It is the first time in its 29 years, that the magazine will be sold in retail outlets.

It will be sold in stores until vendors are able to return to work.

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Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: "We have helped well over 100,000 people over the past 29 years, and on average we put £5 million into the pockets of our vendors every single year.

"Our income comes from street sales and without our vendors on the streets we cannot support those people that really need us now and in the future.

 "We are thrilled that the good folk at Sainsbury’s and McColl’s have partnered with us so that readers new and old can continue to buy The Big Issue during these turbulent times."

The Big Issue will be available in selected Sainsbury's stores and online.

Since its launch in 1991, over 200 million copies of The Big Issue magazine have been sold by over 100,000 vulnerable people.