She relaunches to target the thinking older woman

By Alyson Fixter

Fifty-year-old women’s glossy She has been relaunched by The
National Magazine Company as a magazine for readers who see domesticity
as a luxury – the latest in a rash of new titles for the thinking older
woman.

The publisher is attempting to dramatically reposition the title in
the market in response to crashing sales figures. Six months ago it
sacked the entire staff of the magazine to make way for the new She.

Four
members of the old She line-up are still on board after reapplying for
their positions, with one telling Press Gazette: “We’re basically
working for a completely new magazine.”

The revamped title, out on 6 October, is now focused on home and interiors as well as fashion, health and beauty.

The
launch issue stands out for its consistent design values and glut of
“how-to” guides and lists, offering up articles on subjects ranging
from cushion-making and fireworks parties to finding religion.

NatMags
drafted in former Homes & Gardens editor Matthew Line last year,
originally to head up a new launch codenamed Project Julie, but the
scheme was rejigged earlier this year, according to publishing director
Justine Southall.

She said: “We did a lot of research and
discovered there was a large group of women who were interested in
reading a magazine that celebrated domesticity as a form of therapy,
that gave them useful information as part of a beautiful, aspirational
package.

“We planned to launch a new magazine, but this spring we
took the decision to launch an entirely new product in the She brand
shell.”

Following in the footsteps of Condé Nast launch Easy
Living and Hachette’s September launch, Psychologies, the magazine is a
reaction against the increasingly celebrity and fashion-focused
weeklies and young women’s titles.

But Southall insisted the
title was “completely different” from anything else in the market,
claiming Easy Living had not delivered on its promise to remould the
sector.

However, Chris Hughes, publisher of Easy Living, said he wasn’t “losing any sleep” over the relaunch.

“They’re right – it isn’t anything like Easy Living,” he added.

“It’s much more practical than I imagined, and I do think the lists and how-to guides are good, although they’re nothing new.

“Easy
Living is extremely balanced in its different sections, while in She
the how-to sections are disproportionate to the health and beauty.”

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