ABC FIGURES: Low price policy keeps Glamour in first place

Conde Nast's Glamour magazine continues its inexorable rise in the women's monthly glossy sector, recording one of the best circulation increases in its market, according to the latest set of ABCs.

The two-year-old, handbag-sized title chalked up a 23.1 per cent year-on-year rise, climbing from 436,579 to 537,474.

It was beaten only by The National Magazine Company's Company, which recorded the highest year-on-year rise, jumping 26.5 per cent, up from 261,117 to 330,373.

Both titles have been involved in a mini cover-price war and are among the cheapest in the market at £1.80 each. The average price of a women's monthly title is £2.80.

Glamour's publishing director, Simon Kippin, admitted that the cover price was clearly one element in the success of Glamour and Company, but said: "It's a combination of factors, and content rules."

Meanwhile, IPC Media's InStyle also enjoyed a substantial circulation increase, climbing 15.9 per cent year on year, albeit from a smaller base than its rivals. The title was up from 151,159 a year ago to 175,245 for the six months ending December 2002. It also recorded the highest period-on-period rise of any title, putting on 14.7 per cent.

Elsewhere, the sector veteran, NatMags' Cosmopolitan, remained flat year on year at 463,058, while its rival, IPC Media's Marie Claire, climbed back above the 400,000 mark with a six-month average of 400,038, a rise of 4.7 per cent.

While Hachette Filipacchi has now taken control of Elle and Red, Emap was responsible for those titles during five of the six months of the last ABC period. During that time, Red enjoyed a healthy 10.5 per cent year-on-year rise, up from 173,774 to 192,005. Elle remained flat at 212,505, a rise of just 0.8 per cent.

Verdict Cover price will remain an important factor in driving sales.

Glamour's sales will stabilise but its size and pricing strategy should keep it ahead of the pack. Expect to see heavyweight promotion from a number of titles seeking to emulate its success.

WOMEN'S MAGAZINES

Title Publisher Total ABC Period on Year on

period % year %

Glamour Conde Nast 537,474 3.3 23.1

Cosmopolitan NatMags 463,058 -1.5 0.0

Good H'keeping NatMags 407,032 5.4 0.5

Marie Claire IPC 400,038 1.6 4.7

Yours Emap 380,688 3.4 5.7

Company NatMags 330,373 5.8 26.5

Prima NatMags 325,042 -5.9 -14.5

New Woman Emap 294,611 -2.9 -3.4

Woman & Home IPC 271,887 3.4 7.5

Candis Newhall 259,947 -8.2 -27.9

Elle Hachette 212,505 2.3 0.8

Vogue Conde Nast 202,108 1.5 3.6

B Hachette 192,945 -0.4 0.1

Red Hachette 192,005 4.7 10.5

She NatMags 183,017 0.8 3.9

InStyle IPC 175,245 14.7 15.9

Family Circle IPC 168,363 8.1 -6.5

Essentials IPC 165,229 -4.0 -6.2

Real H Bauer 161,181 -6.3 -7.4

Eve BBC 121,070 1.7 -0.1

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 2002).

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