fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: Winners And Loosers... Going Home... Fool's Gold...

The first half of this year looked positive overall for most fashion magazines, as some rebounded off of soft year-ago periods while others kept their momentum after strong performances.

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WINNERS AND LOSERS: The first half of this year looked positive overall for most fashion magazines, as some rebounded off of soft year-ago periods while others kept their momentum after strong performances. Of the women's titles, Allure, Glamour and Harper's Bazaar posted double-digit gains, even after Allure posted a 7 percent increase last year over 2005 and Glamour posted a 5 percent gain, according to Media Industry Newsletter. Allure vice president and publisher Nancy Berger Cardone said that, though beauty business is growing at a 5 percent clip, diversification of its business to nonendemic categories — automotive, food and retail — has helped the magazine boost pages. "When I started at Allure six years ago, 80 percent of our business was beauty. Now, beauty represents 57 percent of our business." Jane also rebounded somewhat from its 41 percent decline in pages last year, as pages increased 20 percent, to 283, for the period (comparatively, Jane carried 400 ad pages in the first six months of 2005).

Women's lifestyle titles reported strong growth. Real Simple, for example, posted a 19.8 percent gain in pages, to 897, thanks to new multiplatform investments such as its television show and updated Web site, and an extra issue in January. "That counts for 40 incremental pages this year," said publisher Steve Sachs.

Of the leading fashion titles, Vogue posted a 5.5 percent gain in pages, to 1,323, while W posted an 8.8 percent increase, to 894. Cosmopolitan reported a 9.6 percent gain, to 932 pages, while Elle reported a 9.1 percent gain, to 1,104. Marie Claire posted a 7.9 percent gain, to 645, and Lucky saw pages grow 5.7 percent, to 820.

In Style, however, struggled a bit in the first half. Pages fell 8.4 percent in the period, to 1,490. The teen titles also felt pressure in the first six months. Seventeen, which welcomed new editor in chief Ann Shoket in January, posted a 9.5 percent decline, while Cosmogirl saw an 11.6 percent dip. Teen Vogue, the leader in the category, increased its pages 1.8 percent.

On the men's side, Men's Health had a much better first half than last year, when the title saw pages decline 16 percent. This year, the magazine gained the losses back and then some, posting a 22.8 percent gain, to 526, and closed the largest half in its history. The increase came in part from breaking 71 new accounts across electronics, business and financial and apparel categories. Men's Journal posted a 14.4 percent gain, while Details posted a 10.3 percent increase. Esquire, however, didn't do as well as last year's 16 percent increase in pages, reporting a 7.6 percent decline for the period, to 460. Maxim, which is up for sale along with its brothers, Stuff and Blender, at Dennis Publishing, reported a 2.6 percent dip in pages, to 381. The decline follows a 16 percent drop last year. — Stephanie D. Smith
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