B mag closes as sales plummet

B, Hachette Filipacchi’s monthly glossy for young women, has closed, citing a sharp decline in sales which, it said, showed "no signs of improving".

The move follows a period of suspension "until further notice" in March, after the magazine saw a 10 per cent sales drop in the second half of 2005.

Kevin Hand, chairman of Hachette Filipacchi UK, said: "We regret to announce the closure of B following a thorough review of the magazine and its marketplace.

"The young women’s market has seen a sharp decline in sales and this shows no sign of improving. Hachette is a forward-thinking publisher that aims to create and sell the best products possible in their respective markets.

"B no longer represents a long-term viable business proposition in our portfolio and we intend to invest our resources in our new launch, Psychologies, and our recent acquisition Real Homes, combined with developing our digital operations."

The magazine was relaunched under editor Fran Sheen in July 2004, and saw a 30 per cent sales increase in the following six months, but sales then fell again and Sheen was replaced with former Cosmopolitan deputy editor, Nina Ahmad.

Ahmad and 17 other staff on the title have left, with two editorial staff still in consultation with the company.

The glossy market is suffering with only the fashion-focused titles Elle, Vogue and In Style showing sales increases in the last ABCs. The "Grazia effect" — the rising popularity of weekly titles — and a difficult retail market have added to the woes of other titles, including the previously unstoppable Glamour that posted its first ever sales drop of 5.5 per cent.

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