Retailers who boycotted the News of the World (NotW) just hours before the beleaguered tabloid was consigned to the scrapheap have no regrets over their decision, which could have cost them bumper sales as customers snapped up the last souvenir issue.

New International pulled the plug on the NotW last Friday afternoon, announcing that all revenue from Sunday’s issue would go to charity. The last issue sold 3.8m copies on Sunday, up 1.1m from the previous week. 

Earlier on Friday a number of retailers said they would stop selling the newspaper amid the hacking scandal. Andrew Thornton, owner of Thornton’s Budgens in Belzise Park and Crouch End, said at the time: “The NotW need to suffer consequences for their appalling behaviour.” He added this week that he'd received an "incredible amount of goodwill" from his customers for not selling the final issue. "The only complaint I had was from a News of the World journalist."

Andrew’s decision prompted Cambridgeshire retailer Jonathan James to stop selling NotW in his six stores. Speaking this week, Jonathan said his customers overwhelmingly backed his decision. “It was the right thing to do regardless of the final outcome." He added that he had increased the orders on other Sunday titles which paid off.

But Jon Ellis of Town Common News, Christchurch, who sold 120 copies on Sunday compared with an average of about 95, said he was worried about the impact on his home delivery service. “We had about 45 News of the World subscribers, and only about five have so far changed to another title such as the Sunday Mirror.” 

Meanwhile, speculation over a possible Sun on Sunday title has intensified after News International took control of the domain names and this week.