IPC revamps Woman to attract '10 years younger' readers

Woman, IPC's traditional women's weekly, has had a £3.2m makeover to keep up with the ‘10 years younger'

generation, eager to merge traditional family focused values with a little self indulgence.

Publisher Oswin Grady said the move was "to improve our circulation trends"

after research found that mothers picked up reading trends from daughters rather than their own mothers and "women are leading much more selffocused, self-indulgent lifestyles than ever before".

He said: "Quite simply, everybody wants to be 10 years younger. Now, more than ever, mothers and daughters are dressed almost identically. That change made us think that Woman had a real opportunity to redefine what it means to be a modern, variety packed mainstream women's weekly."

Research commissioned by IPC editorial director Mike Soutar and creative director Andy Cowles found the typical Woman reader to be a 35 plus, middle Englander who was house proud, technologically savvy, with internet and satellite access.

Grady added: "There's a tension between this family-focused woman we've always thought of as the classic sector reader and the other side of her, which is this letting off steam, escapist woman who is down at Primark and New Look, snapping' up the cheap but fashionable accessories that make her feel good about herself. That's been a key point in the development of the magazine."

Grady denied that the old look Woman was too old-fashioned a title, but the competitive market necessitated "moving forward constantly, otherwise you'd be trampled on".

The company said the revamp was sparked by a change in the women's market, as youthful real-life and celebrity titles have driven the sector's growth.

In the past five years, three quarters of a million under 24s have entered the women's weekly sector and titles from Pick Me Up to Love It! have concentrated on creating a youthful outlook.

The more mature women's weeklies have suffered sales drops and Woman, which is 70 next year, was down 13.5 per cent in February's ABCs, to 456,524 copies a week.

Editor Jackie Hatton, formerly deputy editor of Woman's Own, took up the post following the departure of Sarah Edwards in January. Former Reveal editor Edwards quit Woman after just four months in the post, following disagreements over the future of the title. She had left Reveal to find a role at a more family-focused magazine.

Hatton said that the changes wouldn't alienate traditional Woman readers. "Our readers are quite modern, aspirational, forward thinking and quite hi-tech and we'd be silly not to recognise that and embrace the changes they're quite happy to make in their own lives and replicate that in the magazine.

"Anyone who shops as much as they do is into trends and change and I don't think any of the core readers will find change frightening.

"They will embrace it, because it's retained the best of the old and given them an awful lot of value on top of that too."

Woman will retain its real-life emphasis with more celebrity, fashion and beauty, health and home, and have improved paper stock and an additional 16 pages.

It will be promoted with TV advertising, sampling in sister publications and initial price promotions. The first issue goes on sale on 23 May.

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