Magazine ABCs: Marie Claire suffers steepest decline in lifestyle sector

IPC Media’s Marie Claire was one of two leading women’s UK monthly lifestyle titles to suffer a double-digit fall in joint print and digital circulations in the first six months of 2014, according to figures released today.

Marie Claire: recorded a double-digit fall in joint circulations Marie Claire: recorded a double-digit fall in joint circulations

Data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations revealed Marie Claire’s average monthly joint print and digital circulation fell by 11.2 per cent in the first half of the year, when compared with the previous six-month reporting period from July to December 2013.

Marie Claire averaged a monthly circulation of 202,127 between January 2014 and June 2014, down from 227,729 in the previous period.

Looking at print sales alone, Marie Claire dropped to 200,047 in the first half, down 13.4 per cent year on year, and 11.4 per cent period on period. The title’s digital circulation rose 2.9 per cent period on period, from 2,021 in the second half of 2013 to 2,080 in the first six months of this year.

The other leading title in the women’s lifestyle sector to suffer a double-digit decline was the joint IPC-Evarn venture’s Look magazine, which dropped 10 per cent period on period to 169,095 in the first six months of 2014 across print and digital.

The sector’s most popular title was Hearst Magazines UK’s Good Housekeeping, which overtook Condé Nast’s Glamour magazine to move into first place, when looking at joint circulations.

Good Housekeeping had a joint circulation average of 406,803 per month in the first half of the year, this was down from 414,542 in the previous period, a drop of 1.9 per cent.

Of this joint figure, Good Housekeeping’s print edition made up 403,442 of average monthly sales, a drop of 1.8 per cent period on period. Its digital edition had average sales of 3,361 per month in the first half, down 5.6 per cent.

Good Housekeeping came top of the pile by virtue of Glamour’s joint circulation suffering a marginally larger decrease period on period. Glamour had a joint average circulation of 405,045 in the first half of the year, down 2.5 per cent.

Anna Jones, the chief executive officer, Hearst Magazines UK, said: “Our core strategy is to grow our brand audiences and reach by enabling our consumers to engage with our content and interact with our brands in the most relevant and convenient way for them.

“And it’s working. Our portfolio of brands now reach more people than ever before, and I am naturally delighted with the growth of some of our key brands this ABC period.

“Good Housekeeping is one of the most famous and established brands in the UK and it continues to go from strength to strength as we expand the business into exciting new areas this year.”

A sizeable number of leading titles in the sector managed to boost their joint circulations period on period. Chief among the climbers was Hearst-Rodale’s Women’s Health, which was up 2.7 per cent period on period to a joint circulation average of 115,517 in the first half of the year.

IPC Media’s Essentials also rose well. Its combined circulation average was up 2.1 per cent period on period, from 106,848 in the second half of last year, to 109,098 in the first six months of 2014.

Other magazines that grew their joint average circulations period on period included Hearst’s Cosmopolitan, which increased 1.1 per cent to 298,044 and Condé Nast’s Vanity Fair, which was up 1.2 per cent to 91,065.

Hearst’s Prima also increased its combined circulation by 1.2 per cent to 263,893, Condé Nast’s Tatler, climbed by 1.0 per cent to 84,025, and IPC’s InStyle was up 0.5 per cent to 147,211.

Other titles in the sector that recorded a joint average circulations decline period on period, included Hearst’s Elle, which was down 9.8 per cent to 155,289 and its stablemate Red, whose combined circulation declined by 5.6 per cent to 191,963,

Hello!’s combined circulation declined by four per cent to 276,943, Bauer’s Grazia fell by 3.0 per cent to 155,289, Hearst’s Harpers Bazaar was down 2.3 per cent to 108,472 and Conde Nast’s Vogue magazine was down 0.5 per cent to 200,032.

Today’s results mark the second half-year the ABC has made combined print and digital circulations available in its reporting and so it is not yet possible to make year-on-year comparisons.

Hearst announced yesterday that against a backdrop of falling print sales, it would stop production of the print version of its Company magazine after 36 years and publish only digital versions of the title. Because of this, Company did not make public an ABC for the first half of the year.

MagazineCombined Total Average CirculationCombined Total Prior Period ChangePrint Total Average CirculationPrint Total Prior Period ChangePrint Total Prior Year ChangeDigital Total Average CirculationDigital Total Prior Period ChangeDigital Total Prior Year Change
Elle (U.K.)155,289-9.76%150,427-9.75%-11.66%4,862-9.95%-28.58%
Good Housekeeping406,803-1.87%403,442-1.83%1.97%3,361-5.62%-26.41%
Harpers Bazaar108,472-2.34%105,310-1.72%-6.72%3,162-19.36%-37.30%
Harrods Magazine117,776-5.75%117,776-5.75%0.44%
Instyle UK147,2110.48%145,4680.58%-1.19%1,743-7.24%-4.96%
John Lewis Edition481,220-3.27%481,220-3.27%-1.30%
Marie Claire202,127-11.24%200,047-11.37%-13.39%2,0802.92%17.91%
Psychologies Magazine73,711-2.33%71,158-3.08%-3.00%2,55324.17%
Vanity Fair91,0651.16%82,9902.02%-6.10%8,075-6.91%-2.80%
WM The Womans Magazine21,231-18.15%21,231-18.15%-24.11%
Woman and Home344,922-3.19%341,600-3.28%0.40%3,3226.71%39.46%
Women’s Health115,5172.67%109,5663.93%7.30%5,951-16.02%6.67%