ABC Figures: Women’s glossy titles lose fizz

Sales of two major customer magazines boosted an otherwise mediocre performance from the women’s lifestyle magazine market.

Sales of two major customer magazines boosted an otherwise mediocre

performance from the women’s lifestyle magazine market.



With the new market entrants - Boots Health & Beauty and Voila Magazine

- included in the figures, women’s lifestyle and fashion magazines

appear to be up 40 per cent, but once these are stripped out, the

year-on-year figures fall more than 7 per cent.



Jayne Potter, media manager at Motive, pointed out that the figures

actually showed a resurgence in the second half of the year for some of

the titles.



Good Housekeeping, for example, fell 7.4 per cent in the first half of

the year, but rallied to show the same circulation in December 1999 that

it had reported in December 1998.



But for many of the titles, the second-half of the year was little

better than the first. Gruner & Jahr’s Prima, the market leader just 12

months’ ago, fell in both half-year periods, finishing the year with a

decline in sales of 17 per cent.



IPC’s Woman & Home did recover slightly in the second half, but still

posted figures down 10.5 per cent. IPC’s other titles, Essentials and

Family Circle, also suffered double digit decline. IPC will stress,

however, that Marie Claire made a year-on-year gain, while Woman’s

Journal enjoyed a 20 per cent sales boom.



Most pundits felt it was an average rather than a terrible

performance.



Ian Rockett, business director at MindShare, who heads group handling of

brands such as Kellogg, Kimberly Clark, De Beers and Rolex, described

the market as ’stable’.



Rockett said: ’Cosmopolitan may have dropped a little, but Marie Claire

and Vogue are both up. We’ve seen a lot of competitive cover mounting as

the magazines work harder to keep readers, and this seems to have

benefited the sector as a whole.’



But he said upcoming launches would put pressure on the sector: ’Gruner

& Jahr, Parkhill, John Brown and the BBC are planning launches. For them

to succeed, something will have to give. There may be initial growth as

readers sample the new products, but while the number of titles will

grow, circulations may fall.’



Emap Elan Networks chief executive Paul Keenan pointed out that the Emap

portfolio is in great shape with Elle, Red and New Woman all faring

well.



’Given the exploding competition, this is a good performance from the

sector,’ he said.



Potter said next year would see a huge fight to achieve customer

loyalty.



’Everyone will be trying to hold readers - and get them onto their

websites,’ she predicted.



Women’s lifestyle sector

Title                Publisher                  ABC   Year on

                                                       year %

Boots Health &

Beauty               Redwood              1,909,500       n/a

Voila Magazine       Citrus               1,200,000       n/a

Debenhams            John Brown             746,350     -32.8

Cosmopolitan         NatMags                470,280      -1.3

Candis               Newhall                450,443      -1.8

Marie Claire         IPC                    450,213       1.1

Prima                G&J                    421,412     -17.4

Good Housekeeping    NatMags                400,094       0.0

Woman & Home         IPC                    295,225     -10.5

New Woman            Emap Elan              276,285       5.6

Essentials           IPC                    262,269     -11.7

Company              NatMags                242,180     -16.6

She                  NatMags                226,086       0.0

B                    Attic Futura           223,532      -3.5

Family Circle        IPC                    218,558     -22.1

Elle (UK)            Emap Elan              210,076       4.8

Vogue                Conde Nast             202,668       0.2

Red                  Emap Elan              180,403       4.2

Woman’s Journal      IPC                    133,407      20.4

Minx                 Emap Elan              123,278     -18.2

Harpers & Queen      NatMags                 90,101      -4.0

Tatler               Conde Nast              85,185      -0.6

Vanity Fair          Conde Nast              76,088       6.0

Cosmopolitan Real

Life Stories         NatMags                 61,045       n/a

Good Housekeeping

Buy the Best         NatMags                 59,001       n/a

TOTAL                                     6,415,600      40.5

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 1999)



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