Grazia's launch success puts pressure on glossy monthlies

By Alyson Fixter

Glossy magazine publishers are bracing themselves for the “Grazia
effect” following a successful launch for the pioneering weekly that
has openly targeted itself at the typical Glamour reader.

Emap’s Grazia has recorded an ontarget debut ABC of 155,157, and
editor Jane Bruton has suggested the title will eat into the monthlies’
market share over the next six months, pointing out it is already
selling more copies a month than its Condé Nast rival.

With the
exception of Hachette’s B, which showed a massive 30.6 per cent sales
increase following a relaunch last year, all the glossies aimed at the
younger end of the women’s market have seen circulation falls in the
past six months and stayed static or lost readers year-on-year.

NatMags’s
She saw a disastrous circulation fall of 18.2 per cent, while sister
title Company lost 7.1 per cent of readers and New Woman from Emap lost
7 per cent.

Market-leader Glamour, which has shown inexorable
rises since launch nearly five years ago, increased circulation by just
0.6 per cent year-on-year at 609,626, and lost about 10,000 readers
between January and June.

Glamour publishing director Simon
Kippin denied that Grazia was as yet having any effect on the market,
but said it would be “one to watch” as the year progressed.

He
added: “Our circulation increases had become ridiculous. We’ve had this
meteoric rise and we’ve been saying that it would settle, and it has
settled.

“It’s quite flattering that Grazia is using Glamour as a
benchmark, but it’s also quite annoying that they’re trying to compare
chalk and cheese.

“They really should be looking at what Heat is selling.

“However,
Grazia is very exciting, it’s brave of Emap to do something different.”
Julie Harris, publishing director of B, said: “The market’s pretty
patchy at the moment and it’s difficult to know for certain if that’s
the Grazia effect, but it does seem to be hitting that early-20s spot,
and something’s got to give.

“We’ve just got to keep reinventing
ourselves, there are lots of new things coming into the market. There
is a lot on offer to those twentysomething girls and they are very
fickle.

“We relaunched B a year ago under a new editor and until
that point it had had very little investment for a long time. It was
very out of kilter with the market. It’s really pleasing to have such a
good increase.”It is rumoured that Emap may be planning a second glossy
launch in the next six months, and also likely that rival IPC has a
competitor in development.

At the older end of the women’s
market, NatMags title Good Housekeeping showed no signs of being
affected by Condé Nast launch Easy Living, putting on 13.9 per cent in
sales year on year to 475,838 copies a month.

Other older women’s
titles also performed well, with Emap’s Yours putting on 6.3 per cent
in sales, IPC’s Woman & Home increasing sales by 7.9 per cent,
Hachette’s Red rising 11.1 per cent and Haymarket’s Eve putting on 8
per cent.

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