CHICO’S AND T+L: A NATURAL FIT?: Misses’ retailer Chico’s has tapped Travel + Leisure to create 14 destination guides and travel tips for its shoppers. The partnership is the first of its kind for T+L, which prides itself on a fortysomething readership whose average income is $160,000. The choice in partner, according to T+L vice president and publisher Jay Meyer, came from Chico’s, which approached the magazine out of the blue.

“They wanted access to what T+L brings to the table,” he said. “They are buying ads as well…and also doing some digital marketing.…We are looking at this long-term partnership.”

That partnership includes guides that have been researched and written by T+L editorial staffers. So far, the guides cover Scottsdale, Ariz., Miami, Puerto Rico, San Francisco and Turks & Caicos. The content will live on and in the retailer’s catalogues. For its part, Chico’s will buy ads in T+L’s March, April, September and December issues and it will place ads on the publication’s Web site and in its social media channels.

Both T+L readers and Chico’s shoppers will also encounter ads in-store, online and in both the travel glossy and the women’s retail catalogue for a sweepstakes to win a trip to Turks & Caicos and a $1,000 Chico’s gift card. The sweepstakes start this month.

For Chico’s, which is the dowdier sister brand of White House Black Market, the partnership makes sense, senior vice president of marketing and creative Liz Hodges said. According to its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Chico’s primarily sells clothing “focusing on women 40 and over with a moderate to high income level.” With clothes in the $50 to sub $200-range, Chico’s fits in the age demographic as the T+L reader, said Hodges, who offered that the retailer’s other big magazine partner is Harper’s Bazaar.

When asked if the customer overlaps with Bazaar, Hodges said: “Absolutely she reads Harper’s Bazaar…and a lot of other magazines as well. When you look at the DNA of a Harper’s Bazaar reader, she is very similar to a Chico’s customer.”

If that wasn’t proof enough of Chico’s clout, Hodges offered that as part of its ad buy with T+L, it also placed ads in the glossy’s fancier sister publication, Departures.

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