New launches rescue the home interest market

- Four successful new launches have rescued the home interest market in the latest round of ABCs, contributing to a seven per cent year on year sector increase.

- Four successful new launches have rescued the home interest market in the latest round of ABCs, contributing to a seven per cent year on year sector increase.

Stripping the new launches aside reveals what a continued state of flux this market is in: without their figures, the market experienced a 35 per cent year on year decline and an 18 per cent period on period fall, according to industry estimates.

Among the biggest casualties were IPC's Homes and Ideas, crashing 26 per cent year on year, the National Magazine Company's House Beautiful, down 18 per cent, and Emap Elan's Period Living, down 17 per cent. House Beautiful is relaunching from the October issue, while IPC now plans to focus on Homes and Ideas.

Only one of the traditional players - IPC's Ideal Home - produced both period on period and year on year circulation increases, up 19 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

Yvonne Ramsden, publishing director of IPC's home interest group, attributed the magazine's solid performance to editor Isobel McKenzie-Price. "In six months she's turned it around by reverting to a classic middle England, mid-market brand, which is where the volume is. We've closed the gap on House Beautiful from 90,000 to just 15,000 in just one ABC period, and now we're going after that number one spot."

At the premium end, sales of IPC's Homes and Gardens and Condé Nast's House and Garden and World of Interiors all declined marginally, while Emap Elan's Elle Decoration was clearly hit by IPC's new launch, Living Etc.

VERDICT: While demand is still there, with house prices continuing to rise and a proliferation of TV home shows, publishers are waking out of their complacency to realise that they need to innovate in order to protect established brands from the newcomers.





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