Opinion: Men’s market approaches maturity

So what did the ABCs tell us about the men’s market? There are three answers: the market is either up, down or static. I was befuddled when the first three pundits I spoke to all arrived at different conclusions.

So what did the ABCs tell us about the men’s market? There are

three answers: the market is either up, down or static. I was befuddled

when the first three pundits I spoke to all arrived at different

conclusions.



The instant impression is that the market is down because FHM, Loaded,

Maxim and Men’s Health all recorded year-on-year losses.



But the figure in the ’totals’ column reveals sales were up 6.5 per cent

in 1999 - over a year that’s an increase of more than two million

magazines.



Finally, if we strip out Wallpaper (it doesn’t really fit with FHM, does

it?), Bizarre (which could claim a category of its own) and the

relaunched Stuff, the percentage growth is nearer 1 per cent - fairly

static.



I stand by our analysis last week that the sector is struggling to

accommodate new entrants such as Front and Later. This is not yet a

mid-life crisis, but at least the onset of dull maturity.



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