LONDON — The British women’s fashion magazine sector edged down in the first half, with titles including InStyle, Marie Claire and Glamour seeing drops in circulation.
According to the U.K.’s Audit Bureau of Circulations, which published the figures on Thursday, the overall circulation figure for women’s fashion titles declined 1.9 percent year-on-year, to 5.32 million for print and digital. Print circulation for the sector fell 2 percent, while digital circulation was up 6.7 percent.
Among the women’s titles that saw their combined digital and print circulations rise were Cosmopolitan, published by Hearst Magazines U.K. Circulation climbed 59.9 percent year-on-year to 413,155 following a successful relaunch last year. Good Housekeeping was up 10 percent to 444,941, while Elle grew 4.7 percent to 171,874, followed by Harper’s Bazaar, 4.4 percent to 110,710.
Cosmopolitan said circulation also increased due to the launch of a new marketing and distribution strategy, including new distribution routes such as “pick-up” and “pop-up” spaces at shopping centers, movie theaters, festivals and selected airport gates and gyms.
Elle U.K. and Harper’s Bazaar U.K.’s figures were also up due to marketing efforts. Elle collaborated with retailers such as Lookfantastic.com, Space NK and Matchesfashion.com, while Harper’s Bazaar partnered with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Victoria Miro Gallery. The latter title also took part in events including the Chelsea Flower Show, Canary Wharf Weekend Treat and Masterpiece London.
“It is extremely encouraging to see that our dynamic new routes to market are working,” said Hearst Magazines U.K. chief executive officer Anna Jones.
“Cosmopolitan was the first brand to lead this strategy last year, and the brand continues to grow. Whether in print, digital — including the hugely successful Snapchat platform — or through large-scale consumer events, Cosmopolitan can reach young women on a scale that very few brands can. Our clients are using the brand to target the Millennial audience, culminating in projects such as The Edge for Estée Lauder, a bespoke digital pop-up aimed at promoting The Estée Edit to Millennials.”
At Condé Nast, Tatler’s combined figure rose 6.4 percent to 84,515, while Vanity Fair was up 5.5 percent to 80,083. Vogue U.K.’s edged up 2.3 percent to 195,053. The publication, which is celebrating its centenary this year, mounted its Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery earlier in the year, which drew 152,290 visitors. Later this fall, BBC2 will be broadcasting two 60-minute documentaries focused on the anniversary.
Glamour, which has been struggling for a while, fell 18.9 percent to 300,063 as it endeavors to speak to its Millennial audience.
Time Inc. U.K.’s Look retreated 30.3 percent to 91,902, while InStyle fell 18 percent to 123,076. Marie Claire was down 11.1 percent 165,362.
Men’s lifestyle titles as a sector grew, with the category’s combined digital and print circulation up 22.2 percent to 1.68 million. Hearst’s Esquire climbed 14.5 percent to 64,712 while Condé Nast’s GQ was up 2.3 percent to 117,039. The men’s web site revamped its mobile platform and launched its GQ Video channel. Wired edged up 0.1 percent to 54,094 in its combined circulation year-on-year.