Young women’s titles are starting to out-sell more established
women’s magazines, according to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau
Figures for January to June 1997 show that the young women’s sector,
dominated by two titles, was up 4.5% across the board year-on-year,
while the established glossy fashion and beauty market was down
Sugar, which was launched just two-and-a-half years ago by Attic Futura,
now sells more copies a month than established monthly glossies
Cosmopolitan, published by the National Magazine Company, and Marie
Claire, from IPC.
Aimed at 13- to 17-year-olds, Sugar sells 474,104 copies a month, up
31.1% from 361,764 last year. Rival Bliss, from Emap Elan, soared 21% to
389,624. Emap’s Minx, which is aimed at a slightly older audience of
18- to 24-year-olds, posted its first ABC of 145,452.
Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire both suffered falls, down 4% and 4.5%
year-on-year respectively, to 441,536 and 435,006. However, the revamped
Elle increased its circulation by 9.8% to 210,067. Vogue continued its
steady increase, up 3.4% to 200,113.
Chris Boyd, managing director of IPC SouthBank Group, attributed the dip
in the monthly beauty sector to the fact that more women are reading
Media observers believe the growth of the young women’s sector is due to
the titles’ glossier feel and sassy, humorous approach.
The weeklies market, dominated by IPC, was down 3.9% year-on-year. IPC
Weeklies Group managing director Nigel Davidson blamed a price battle
which has disrupted buying patterns and forced some titles, including
Bauer’s Enjoy, to close.
Sales of selected women’s monthlies
Title Jan-June 97 Jan-June 96 % change
Sugar 474,104 361,764 +31.1
Cosmopolitan 441,536 460,141 -4
Marie Claire 435,006 455,477 -4.5
Bliss 389,624 307,803 +21
New Woman 250,240 231,657 +8
Elle 210,067 191,243 +9.8
Vogue 200,113 193,539 +3.4
Minx 145,452 n/a n/a
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations.