Knitting mag editor: Hobby titles will thrive in downturn

Niche hobby magazines will benefit from the economic downturn, as readers look for inexpensive ways to spend their time, according to the editor of a new craft title due to launch this week.

Future Publishing is to launch The Knitter tomorrow, aimed at experienced knitting enthusiasts. The 100-page glossy magazine will have a cover price of £5.99 and an initial print run of 30,000.

It will feature patterns by well-known designers, a column by American knitting blog duo Mason-Dixon and a section that will show readers how to emulate catwalk trends.

Future prints a broad range of craft magazines and already publishes Simply Knitting, aimed at the less advanced knitter.

Despite launching in a period when magazines are typically feeling the pinch of shrinking advertising revenue, The Knitter editor Juliet Bernard told Press Gazette that advertising for The Knitter had exceeded expected targets.

She said high demand from specialist companies had prompted the title to add extra pages to its inaugural issue.

Bernard said niche magazines were performing well in the economic downturn. She said: “People can’t afford to go out and they don’t want to just stay in and watch TV, so they turn to hobbies in their spare time.”

“There are thousands of committed knitters in the UK who are highly motivated consumers. Knitters are like magpies – they have to have the latest patterns.

“The response we’ve had from forums and the industry has been overwhelming.”

She added: “The Future group continues to be strong because they are good at spotting niches and recognising how to market to these niche customers.”

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