ABC Intro: Home and Garden

There were mixed fortunes for home interest titles as the market stabilised as a whole, but certain key titles fared better than others.

IPC's Ideal Home remained at the top of the sector with a circulation of 260,439. However, its circulation slid year on year, allowing its nearest rival, House Beautiful, to gain ground as The National Magazine Company-owned title leapt 18.3 per cent.

Despite the slow decline at Ideal Home, there was better news for the aspirational titles. NatMags' Country Living posted strong year-on-year growth. Elle Decoration rose 6.8 per cent to 64,144 but 25 Beautiful Homes was down. The mid-market showed signs of improving with BBC Good Homes continuing its growth, boosting its circulation by more than one-fifth.

The performance of gardening titles reflected seasonal changes. The leading title, The Garden (published by the Royal Horticultural Society), was up but the top newsstand title, BBC Gardeners' World, fell 28.5 per cent on the last period, explained in part by the fact that its sales are higher in the busy spring gardening period.

Year-on-year sales across the gardening sector were static but some publishers are worried about a possible waning of interest. To combat this apathy, BBC Gardeners' World is trying to refresh the interest of fair weather gardeners with a relaunch in April.

Verdict The more practical market-leading titles in each sector, Ideal Home and BBC Gardeners' World, both showed declines. Publishers will have to invest in products to combat a slight fall in the popularity of DIY and garden improvement.

HOME INTEREST

TITLE Publisher Total ABC Period-on- Year-on-

period year

% change % change

Ideal Home IPC 260,439 -4.0 -5.1

House Beautiful NatMags 215,360 1.7 18.3

Country Living NatMags 185,136 3.2 6.1

Homes & Gardens IPC 149,683 -4.0 -8.1

House & Garden Conde Nast 144,547 -3.0 -2.8

BBC Good Homes BBC Magazines 129,778 8.2 22.2

Your Home Essential 127,065 0.1 3.3

BBC Homes & Antiques BBC Magazines 120,141 4.9 -14.8

Ideal Homes Guide* IPC 118,986 n/a 0.4

25 Beautiful Homes IPC 112,364 -7.7 -12.8

GARDENING

TITLE Publisher Total ABC Period-on- Year-on-

period year

% change % change

The Garden RHS Publishing 345,728 4.1 5.8

BBC Gardeners' World BBC Magazines 257,628 -28.5 -9.8

BBC Easy Gardening BBC Magazines 55,537 -9.8 -9.4

Garden News Emap 50,361 -9.7 -5.3

Amateur Gardening IPC 49,763 -15.7 -12.4

Garden Answers Emap 49,419 -33.5 -18.4