Women's glossies fear ABC slump

Publishers fear the women’s glossy market could drop by up to 10 per cent on the newsstand in this week’s ABC circulation figures, but they have denied the weeklies are eating into their sales.

Of the top-selling glossies aimed at younger readers — Glamour, Company, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Marie Claire, New Woman, Elle and In Style — only fashion bibles Elle and Vogue are tipped to show decent increases.

Some estimates for Emap titles New Woman and Company, and NatMags’

Cosmopolitan, suggest double-digit decreases, while even top-seller Glamour is believed to have shown a drop of up to 5 per cent at the newsstand — although subscription sales are likely to buoy that up to a better overall total.

Publishers have long feared the explosion in weekly titles could damage the women’s glossies, as seen on the men’s side following the launch of Nuts and Zoo.

But Jackie Newcombe, publishing director of IPC’s women’s titles, which include Marie Claire and In Style, said: "The [younger] market is probably slightly down due to the relatively tough retail market, but what hasn’t changed is what monthly magazines do for people. The weeklies are all about other peoples lives; the monthlies are about the reader’s life, they provide a completely different service."

A spokeswoman for Condé Nast said the company was "really pleased" with Glamour’s estimated ABC, adding that it was time it reached a plateau. She said: "You can’t have these amazing increases every period, and we are still far ahead of the competition".

But hope for the market could lie in the older women’s glossies, with titles such as IPC’s Woman & Home and NatMags’ Good Housekeeping likely to show steady sales following renewed focus on the sector in recent years.

Live ABC figures and analysis will be available at www.pressgazette.co.uk from noon on Thursday 16 February.

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