Company follows Glamour and shrinks to fit handbags

Company: move to smaller format

Company Magazine is moving to a smaller format so that it is easier for readers to carry when they are out shopping.

From the August issue, out in July, Company will change to a US A4 size, slightly larger than Glamour which is A5 but smaller than the average UK glossy.

The move is part of an ongoing strategy by The National Magazine Company. Since Company slashed its price to £1.50 in November 2001 to match Glamour, sales have rocketed with Company showing 26.5 per cent growth to 330,373 in the latest ABCs.

Although Glamour is still ahead with sales of 537,474, NatMags is hoping the new size will make Company stand out on the news-stands and improve its profile among advertisers.

Publishing director Justine Southall said: “The Glamour size is now well known and no longer unique, so it was not just a matter of thinking, ‘let’s do something someone else has already done’ but let’s see what works with our editorial format.”

One of the key points for NatMags to consider was features which are central to in Company’s success and tend to require more space. There are no plans to increase pagination but the page layouts and grids have been re-designed to ensure the editorial is not affected by the change.

Southall said portability had become a major issue for readers – especially in terms of the magazine’s fashion and beauty coverage.

“We became aware that readers were taking Company with them to go shopping,” she told Press Gazette.

NatMags has also announced plans to shrink Cosmopolitan’s teenage spin-off Cosmo Girl. The company conducted six months of research and from the May issue (out on 21 April), Cosmo Girl will change to an A5 “handbag” size, similar to Bliss and Amber in the teen and young women’s sector.

In the men’s sector, Jack also markets itself as more portable by being able to squeeze inside men’s pockets.

Southall said it would be interesting to see if other glossies in the women’s lifestyle market follow suit.

“The whole size thing is quite a hot potato in the UK market but it very much depends on the nature of the brand and the relationship with the readers.

Portability and the ability of the magazine to be user friendly are key elements for Company.”

Southall said the move would result in minimal cost savings. “You get a certain level of paper wastage but this has been very much driven by editorial needs,” she added.

By Ruth Addicott

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