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French luxury titans Bernard Arnault and François Pinault are together at last — on the cover of this week’s issue of French business magazine Challenges.

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IT’S OK NOW, SPEND: It’s clear retailers need consumers to feel at ease about shopping, but consumers are hard pressed to find emotional comfort from spending money on luxuries in the dismal economy. “Whether you have $10,000, $200, or $1,000, people are sitting on that money, and then looking at it eight ways before they spend it,” said Susan Plagemann, vice president and publisher of Marie Claire. The magazine in September is hoping its booklet, “The New Way to Shop,” will give fashionistas the confidence to start buying again. The booklet will be polybagged with 750,000 subscriber copies of Marie Claire, with 200,000 copies on newsstands beginning Aug. 15. The 100-page mini issue will cover boutiques across the country, including Ikram in Chicago, Heist in Los Angeles and V.O.D. in Dallas, various Web sites, beauty products, accessories and product recommendations from Jason Wu, Elle Macpherson, Tory Burch and Robert Verdi. Marie Claire also tapped buyers at Nordstrom and Sephora to provide their picks for what to buy.

“The New Way to Shop” is the largest special issue that Marie Claire has produced, carrying 40 pages of advertising from J Brand jeans, Bebe, Armani Exchange, Nine West, Calvin Klein Jeans and Mango, among others. TRESemmé bought 15 pages in the issue and is the official beauty sponsor. Marie Claire produced an advertorial for the hair care brand that includes a model showing looks from several up-and-coming designers with different hairstyles and products to match the mood and event. The booklet helped Marie Claire increase its pages for September and into fall: most advertisers bought placement in “The New Way to Shop” in addition to their fall schedules in Marie Claire, albeit for a fraction of the cost of a page in the flagship, given the booklet’s smaller size and distribution. An open page rate for Marie Claire — before any of those pesky discussions over discounts — is $116,740.

— S.D.S.


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