Investment in launches, new editors and revamps appears to have
paid off for many publishers in the women’s monthly sector.
While Emap Elan’s recent launch, Red, comfortably surpassed the target
circulation for its first ABCs, IPC’s Woman’s Journal indicated that
sales were picking up under its new editor, Marcelle D’Argy Smith, and
Emap’s New Woman registered the sector’s largest sales hike. Overall,
the sector grew by 1.3 per cent.
Paul Keenan, managing director of Emap Elan, said: ’Red has
reinvigorated women’s interest in magazines and well-placed competitors
ought to be able to capitalise on that.’
He said research showed that the pre-launch target readership profile
was also being hit, with the average reader being aged just under 35 and
Red registered sales of 190,136 for the six months between January and
June 1998, a comfortable 10,000 above its projected figures.
In contrast, Wagadon’s rival magazine, Frank, notched up 41,548.
New Woman continued to power ahead with a year-on-year sales rise of
12.3 per cent, buoyed by period-on-period growth of 4.7 per cent. Keenan
pointed to the redesign of the August issue and the appointment of Jo
Elvin as editor as further proof of Emap’s commitment to the title.
While Woman’s Journal actually recorded a fall of 12.5 per cent over the
past 12 months, its figures for January to June showed an increase of
5.8 per cent - indicating that D’Argy Smith’s presence may be starting
to have an impact. Other titles doing well include Cosmopolitan, up 7
per cent year on year, and Zest, up 8.7 per cent for the same
However, there was less happy news for a number of the more established
titles. Options fell by 12.1 per cent year on year while Marie Claire
dropped by 4.3 per cent year on year, despite a small 0.2 per cent
increase in the past six months.
Chris Boyd, managing director of IPC Southbank, put the fall down to
stiff competition from rivals using free gifts to boost sales,
commenting: ’It’s almost getting to ridiculous proportions.’ He added:
’We have stabilised Marie Claire and our next ABCs will definitely be
WOMEN’S MONTHLY MAGAZINES
Title Publisher Total ABC Period on Year on
period % year %
Prima G&J 531,678 -1.7 6.1
Cosmopolitan NatMags 472,263 2.4 7.0
Good Housekping NatMags 440,721 -2.1 0.0
Marie Claire IPC 416,239 0.2 -4.3
Woman & Home IPC 302,430 -12.1 -9.3
Essentials IPC 290,324 6.5 -7.2
Company NatMags 290,065 2.1 4.4
New Woman Emap Elan 281,087 4.7 12.3
Family Circle IPC 262,589 -6.3 -14.4
She NatMags 242,024 0.2 2.5
Elle Emap Elan 212,799 -2.4 1.3
Vogue Conde Nast 202,265 0.1 1.1
Red Emap Elan 190,136 - -
Woman’s Journal IPC 128,656 5.8 -12.5
Options IPC 119,178 -6.7 -12.1
Harpers & Queen NatMags 95,048 1.6 2.8
Tatler Conde Nast 87,549 -3.1 0.2
Vanity Fair Conde Nast 83,743 -2.0 0.5
Frank Wagadon 41,548 - -
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations.