The planned print run of the first Charlie Hebdo magazine since last week’s deadly terrorist attack has been increased by 2m to 5m as many newsagents in France sold out of stocks within minutes of it going on sale, according to the Guardian.
“The publisher has decided this morning to bring the print run to 5m,” Véronique Faujour, president of the distributor MLP, told AFP. The figure is 2m more than had been expected.
Buyers queued in large numbers outside French magazine kiosks as the first edition since the attack on the magazine’s office killed 12 went on sale.
Some outlets reported that hundreds of copies of the magazine were sold in the first few minutes of going on sale by customers eager to show support for free speech following the attack.
Despite an initial planned print run of up to 3m copies, including versions in six different languages, many struggled to get hold of the first copies of a magazine that usually has a circulation of only 60,000.
The Guardian’s Anne Penketh said her local newsagent in Paris was so inundated with customers wanting copies of Charlie Hebdo that he hid them and only sold copies to regulars.
She said: “While I was there, a couple of people stopped by and asked for a copy, but [the newsagent] said he didn’t have any. He then stooped down and put my copy inside Le Figaro so nobody would see. He says he’s never seen anything like it.”
French journalist Agnès Poirier reported queues at two newsagents in a small town in Brittany where she is based. “I’ve never seen that many people queue for a newsagent to open,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I couldn’t get a copy myself because there were too many people, but in a show of generosity the people who got their copies shared with everybody else,” she added.
“It was incredible. I had a queue of 60-70 people waiting for me when I opened,” said a woman working at a newspaper kiosk in Paris. “I’ve never seen anything like it. All my 450 copies were sold out in 15 minutes.”
Jamie Johnson, 21, a language student from Exeter University working in Paris, reported a queue of 400 people snaking around a block in usually quiet streets in the 5th arrondissement by 8am.
Johnson said that a woman behind him in the queue shouted: “I am buying a piece of history.”
After he bought his €3 copy of the magazine, Johnson was immediately offered €10 for it by a man in the queue.