- The women's monthly magazine market turned in disappointing circulation figures, with IPC SouthBank's Marie Claire and The National Magazine Company's health magazine Zest the only titles to record a year on year increase in circulation.
Marie Claire's sales rose by just over five per cent to 437,642, although period on period sales were down 1.7 per cent. Zest was up 1.2 per cent year on year to 110,689, and recorded period on period growth.
As predicted in Campaign (August 13) IPC SouthBank's Woman's Journal and Nat Mag's Good Housekeeping were the biggest casualties of the women's glossy market. Sales of Woman's Journal sank by just under 20 per cent to 103,209. Circulation of Good Housekeeping dropped by 16 per cent (yoy) to 370,436. Prima was down 8.7 per cent year on year to 485,580.
Rita Lewis, publishing director of IPC SouthBank said: "Woman's Journal was a hideous magazine, I was ashamed to have my name in it. I was absolutely determined to fundamentally change it and we have done. You will definitely see an increase in the next round of ABCs."
Conde Nast's fashion glossy Vogue was slightly down both year on year and period on period, with a circulation of 200,462, while Nat Mag's Harpers & Queen fell 3.2 per cent to 92,041. Emap Elan's Elle was one of the four magazines to register a period on period increase, up 2.4 per cent to 205,151, although year on year it registered a decline of 3.6 per cent. New Woman was also up period on period, with a 4.3 per cent increase in sales to 273,016.
Emap Elan's Red, which was launched at the beginning of last year, suffered a 10.5 per cent fall in circulation to 170,101. Sue Hawken, managing director of Emap Elan, said: "The problem that we've got is that the people who read Red lead very busy lives and persuading them to make time to buy the magazine very month is a problem."
Verdict: The women's monthly market, which struggled to perform during the previous round of six-monthly ABCs, is finding it increasingly difficult to hold its own against competition from other media, such as newspapers. Imminent magazine launches from Emap Elan, IPC SouthBank and BBC Magazines will help restimulate the market, but it's unlikely that overall circulation in this sector will increase.