By Zoe Smith
The editor of the Mail on Sunday’s redesigned You supplement has dismissed criticism of the magazine following sluggish newsstand sales figures.
The stand-alone version of You, which launched in London and the Southeast on 7 March, has struggled to reach its sales target of 50,000, selling 28,000 copies in its first week and just short of 40,000 in the second.
You editor Sue Peart said: "What people seem to forget is that we already sell 2.5 million nationally. We already have 500,000 sales in London and the Southeast.
"It’s not as if this is a new magazine that doesn’t have a single reader yet.
These are new readers on top of the 500,000."
Four weeks ago the magazine moved on to silk paper and changes were made across the publication as a whole. It was redesigned for a fresher look — three new columns on cosmetic surgery, make-up and fashion were introduced, and columnist Liz Jones returned to the magazine.
Specifically for the newsstand edition, a glossier cover plus a fifth colour have been introduced. It also features an editor’s letter and additional editorial pages.
Peart insisted editorial changes had not been made to the newsstand version of the magazine, as the intention was to put You on the newsstand and "not something completely different".
This decision led to accusations by some in the industry that the newsstand You failed to compete with other magazines for sale because it was too safe and had little "must-read content".
Peart, however, insisted that, despite the magazine’s inability to carry late news due to the long deadlines, it was still edgy.
"We are never going to come out with the Oscar frocks the day after the event because we can’t do that," she said. "But when it comes to edginess we have some of the best writers and columnists in the business."
Peart also rebutted claims that the magazine was too tame, citing the fact that You was the first of the colour supplements to feature a sex column, which was written by Rowan Pelling, former editor of Erotic Review.
"There is a way of doing it. We are not out to offend people, we have integrity and taste. We are not going to do anything distasteful just to get readers.
We’re not that type of publication."