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U.K. Titles Put on Varied ABC Performance

A number of fashion titles saw print declines, while others made modest gains.

LONDON — British women’s lifestyle and fashion magazines registered another six months of decline as a sector, according to data released by the U.K.’s Audit Bureau of Circulations. The sector fell 2.7 percent in the January to June period, compared to the same period last year. The men’s lifestyle sector, however, managed a 0.9 percent rise during the period, compared to a year ago.

In terms of paid-for titles, Hearst’s Good Housekeeping was the best-performing print publication in the women’s lifestyle sector, with its print circulation rising 2 percent over the year to 403,442. The title did, however, decline 1.8 percent compared to the previous June to December period. It also had the highest combined print and digital circulation of a women’s lifestyle title, of 406,803, putting it ahead of Conde Nast’s Glamour, which had a combined print and digital circulation of 405,045. Both titles saw their combined print and digital circulations decline compared to the previous six-month period, Good Housekeeping’s by 1.9 percent and Glamour’s by 2.5 percent. compared to a year ago.

A clutch of major women’s fashion and lifestyle titles showed declines in print circulation during the period, compared to the previous six months. IPC’s Marie Claire dipped 11.4 percent to 200,047, while Hearst’s Elle was down 9.8 percent to 150,427 and Red lost 5.8 percent to 188,298. Conde Nast’s Vogue fell 0.4 percent to 192,082 and Harper’s Bazaar at Hearst fell 1.7 percent to 105,310. compared to a year ago.

Those that notched up gains included Tatler, which rose 1.2 percent to 82,245 - with Conde Nast noting that the magazine will be the subject of a three-part BBC 2 documentary this October. Vanity Fair gained 2 percent to 82,990 while Hearst-Rodale’s Women’s Health rose 3.9 percent to 109,566. In Style U.K. rose 0.6 percent to 145,468, with IPC Media noting that its new editor Charlotte Moore, appointed in January, “has refocused the title’s positioning, delivering…inspiring fashion content and arming readers with…shopping and styling knowledge.” compared to a year ago.

Of men’s titles, Square Mile, a lifestyle title targeted at London’s financial sector, saw an 8 percent rise over the period, to 51,918, while the free title Shortlist was up 0.2 percent to 535,505. GQ fell 1 percent to 113,663, while Men’s Health was down 3 percent to 196,894 and Esquire fell 3.9 percent to 52,859. compared to a year ago.

Those titles that saw a rise in their combined print and digital circulations included Women’s Health, up 2.7 percent to 115,517; Vanity Fair, up 1.2 percent to 91,065; Tatler, which rose 1 percent to 84,025 and InStyle U.K., up 0.5 percent to 147,211. compared to a year ago.

Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Conde Nast U.K., pointed to the “stability” of the publishing house's titles during the period, and said that its “digital platforms [are] performing well ahead of expectations.” Anna Jones, chief executive officer of Hearst Magazines U.K., said that the publisher is focused on growing its “brand audiences and reach, by enabling our consumers to engage with our content and interact with our brands in the most relevant way for them."

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