US magazines suffer sales slump

Sales of even of the biggest and most famous US magazines are slumping, according to figures due out today.

The figures come days ahead of the release of the UK consumer magazine ABCs (due out on Thursday, news of www.pressgazette.co.uk from midday).

Sales figures for the first half of this year show that general interest magazines are suffering the most, especially in the women’s field.

Marie Claire dropped more than 20 per cent in newsstand sales. Redbook suffered a drop of over 12 per cent – and that was after a 28 per cent drop in the second half of last year. Glamour saw a seven per cent drop.

It’s on the newsstands that the biggest declines are being seen. Vanity Fair – which a year ago had one of its best years ever – was down almost 16 per cent. Fortune dropped 11 per cent.

Of course increases in cover price have an effect. Allure, which raised its cover price from $2.99 to $3.50 suffered a 13 per cent drop.

Even a mini-drop of three per cent in sales of Cosmopolitan has been attributed to a recent price boost.

One of the exceptions is The Economist, whose sales have shot up more than ten per cent on newsstands despite a dollar a copy increase to $5.99.

Only the teen magazines appear to be immune from the current ups and downs. Cosmogirl’s newsstand sales grew almost 5 per cent, while its total circulation increased over 3 per cent to l.4 million. Teen Vogue was up almost ten per cent on newsstands, although total circulation remained flat at 973,000.

At Seventeen single copy sales were up more than 8 per cent while total circulation grew two per cent to 2 million.

Mens mags varied. Details and GQ reported the biggest growth – both up almost ten per cent in total circulation. Meanwhile rumours still circulate that the American version of Stuff, which was sold recently by Felix Dennis, has not much longer to live.

Its newsstand sales have fallen more than a third (to slightly over 170,000 – just about half its sales two years ago at the height of the beer and babes era) and its new owners, Quadrangle, are said to considering closing it – or merging it into Maxim as a special supplement

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