A STIMULUS FOR BOTH: As retailers continue to try to find creative ways to get customers back in stores — and magazines search for ideas to jump-start advertising — Glamour is in the early stages of providing a little retail therapy to readers in its October issue with the title’s own version of an economic stimulus package. The plan will be unveiled to luxury advertisers on May 14 at a breakfast at Bergdorf Goodman. “We are going to provide a nationwide shopping program,” said Bill Wackermann, senior vice president and publishing director. “Women will buy if you give them a reason to shop. So we are going to galvanize our 12 million readers to shop by providing them with unique incentives, such as exclusive access to certain retailers.” So far, plans include printing gift certificates in select issues, while another promotion will invite readers to shop at a certain store, where one person will randomly be handed valuable gift certificates.
Editor in chief Cindi Leive said that from an editorial standpoint, the issue will have a section on “the new way to shop.” “We are going to have a new, healthy shopping manifesto,” said Leive. “We are in a cultural reset moment, where we are all learning new habits. So we are going to provide a new set of very basic principles, informed by a poll from glamour.com.” Leive said she wants to eliminate the “fear factor” from shopping and on that note, glamour.com has just relaunched its shopping channel, which provides fashion and beauty products, in a range of prices. “They say that you should eat healthfully and mindfully — well, that approach should now be taken with shopping. We are showing readers that there is value at every price point,” said Leive.
This story first appeared in the May 6, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
— Amy Wicks
HOME IS WHERE THE MONEY IS: To the pundits who see a cyclical shift away from a consumer-driven society, House Beautiful editor in chief Stephen Drucker begs to differ. “Is consumption done? Ha!” he said, kicking off a panel on the future of shelter media at the Hearst Tower Tuesday morning. Furniture designer Mitchell Gold agreed: “Part of the American psyche is wanting to shop…so I’m really looking forward to when this pent-up demand begins to explode.”
And Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan said, “In a recession, the only place people have to go is home.”
This being a media-focused panel, some attention was focused on Gillingham-Ryan, whose highly popular blogs might be seen as rivaling, or even overtaking, shelter magazines, many of which have closed as their advertising has evaporated in the recession. As moderator James B. Stewart put it, “There’s another question about whether the Internet will take all the advertising.”
That aside, the panel was marked by comity. “They are perfectly complementary experiences,” said Drucker of shelter blogs and magazines. “Magazines are an authority and are top-down. Apartment Therapy is a grassroots community.” He said magazines like House Beautiful were beginning to function more like books, since shelter magazines often are kept by readers.
That said, Drucker is open to seeing his magazine on some sort of digital reader, provided technology catches up. In fact, he pointed out, House Beautiful launched in 1896 without photography, so that, too, had changed. Asked about the use of magazine photography on his blogs, Gillingham-Ryan said the goal is to credit and link the magazines and-or photographers whenever possible. “Photographers have been hit hard,” he admitted, but said some send irate e-mails about the use of their work, while others plead for links. “Should we invest in higher-quality photography?” he said, referring to the blog. (The Apartment Therapy books commission professional photographers.) “Probably not. That’s not our niche.”
— Irin Carmon