Glamour extended its lead over Cosmopolitan and swept past the 600,000 sales barrier making it the highest selling monthly in the UK and Europe.
Publisher Simon Kippen said it was the first time a women’s monthly glossy had exceeded 600,000 in the UK.
He said: “The gap between us and Cosmo is nearly 150,000 now and that is staggering. It underlines what we have always said, that it is not just about size or price, but much more about content.”
Cosmo reported a drop of 1.2 per cent to 456,447 despite discounting and testing the smaller travel size format. Cosmo publisher Jan Adcock said it will continue in both sizes but the price of the travel size will increase to £2.85 in line with the original format.
New editor Sam Baker took over in June following the departure of Lorraine Candy to edit Elle. Elle reported an ABC of 201,469.
Marie Claire was up 5.5 per cent on last period but the ABC does not reflect the revamp, the price cut from £3 to £2.50 and the switch to an American A4 format in the September issue – a move Company made last August and also adopted by B this summer.
Sandy Whetton, managing director of owner IPC Southbank, said the travel size sold well but, like Cosmo, it will continue in both formats. “It is not a 100 yard sprint but more of a marathon. We must look at what happens over a period of time,” he said.
Justine Southall, group publishing director of Company, accused B of creating a “carbon copy” of Company in a bid to stop its 22.5 per cent decline.
B’s general manager Julie Harris hit back, claiming B’s reader was “fresh faced and cooler” while Company’s core reader was “a secretary from Croydon”.
“‘Fresh faced’?” Southall snapped.
“What does she do all day? Sit in her room scrubbing her face with Clearasil? B has ripped off Company not only in size but in styling and this is a last ditch attempt to make B work.”
The biggest growth in the women’s monthly lifestyle and fashion sector however came at the older end with Good Housekeeping, Yours and Woman & Home showing healthy increases. The figures bode well for the 2005 launch of CondÃ© Nast’s Easy Living. Edited by Vogue deputy Susie Forbes, it is billed to be the company’s biggest launch since the £10m launch of Glamour in April 2001. According to CondÃ© Nast, there are more than 6m women in the target audience and the sector is set to grow by eight per cent over the next 10 years. IPC is also keen to do a version of US title Real Simple – owned by parent company Time Inc.
Whetton, who is also responsible for IPC’s Woman & Home, said: “There is not a great deal wrong with being in your mid-40s. These people are not over the hill and have good spending power. It’s a vibrant market and these are really vibrant magazines.”
Eve, In Style and Red were up while Harpers & Queen reaped the rewards of its March relaunch, recording its highest sale in 16 years of 97,756.
IPC’s Essentials and Family Circle posted big losses on the back of the announcement last week they are to swap editors. Essentials fell 14.4 per cent to 123,998 – dropping 17.6 per cent period on period. Family Circle was down 12.3 per cent year on year, and a further 19.3 per cent period on period.
Whetton insisted they were both still profitable. “They are not causing me sleepless nights. They will both be here in six months time and I think they’ll both be here in the future,” he said.
Vogue was up 1.5 per cent year on year to 205,320 and Tatler remained stable at 84,466.
Bauer published an ABC for its fortnightly glossy Real which, in spite of showing the second highest growth in the sector, up 13.2 per cent year on year to 204,455, was suspended last month due to commercial difficulties.
Cosmo and Marie Claire to remain in two formats for time being.
Easy Living set to hit newsstands in 2005 will be CondÃ© Nast’s biggest launch since Glamour.
Essentials and Family Circle record sales slumps on eve of editors’ jobs swap.
By Ruth Addicott