TO THE QUICK: For Quick & Simple, finding success on the newsstand has been anything but. Recent sales projections put the new Hearst weekly’s average single-copy sales at around 160,000. Despite a bargain-basement cover price of $1.49, its sell-through rate is approximately 20 percent, according to a source with access to distribution data.
A Hearst spokeswoman declined to comment on those specific estimates, but said, “We’re not fully penetrated in the U.S. yet, but newsstand sales for Quick & Simple are increasing at a very healthy clip.”
Of course, many new magazines struggle to attain even average sell-through, typically around 34 percent. But Quick & Simple, which was launched last year, is up against some unusually efficient competitors. Bauer Publishing’s First for Women and Woman’s World, which more or less created the low-price category in the U.S., both sell more than 50 percent of the copies they ship to newsstands, according to Greg Slattery, publisher of the Bauer Women’s Group — and that’s at much higher circulation levels. Woman’s World’s rate base is 1.5 million, and First for Women’s is 1.35 million. It will be a long time before Quick & Simple — or All You and For Me, the low-price newbies from Time Inc. and Hachette, respectively — are doing those kinds of numbers. After all, Bauer launched its titles years ago. “This is what we do. This is Bauer’s core business,” said Slattery. “These larger companies are dabbling in the newsstand and trying to figure this out. It’s not an easy process.”
— Jeff Bercovici
CENTS AND SENSIBILITY: With a last name like Cash, a journalist would almost have to cover money.
William Cash, who writes for the U.K.’s Evening Standard, has founded a new London magazine called Spear’s Wealth Management Survey, offering advice on pre-nups, tax loopholes, top-flight private investigators, and art and antiques purchases for wealthy readers. “The very rich may be good at making money, but that doesn’t mean they’re good at managing it,” said Cash. “We think we’ve found a real niche for this traveling tribe of mostly European-based multimillionaires who live between their homes — in London, Saint Moritz and St. Barth’s.”
Spear’s Wealth Management Survey will come out quarterly, with an initial circulation of 35,000, and is published by Spear Media. It will go to select subscribers (for 125 pounds, or about $225, a year) and will be distributed in luxury hotels, banks, airport lounges and at private events. Advertisers in the debut issue include investment firms Pictet, Coutts and Cazenove, and luxury brands Dom Perignon, de Grisogono, Ermenegildo Zegna and Baume & Mercier.
The launch issue features Condé Nast U.K.’s managing director, Nicholas Coleridge, on striking a deal in the steam room at Mark Birley’s Bath & Racquets Club, and Daisy Prince pens an essay about her aunt CZ Guest’s talent for discretion in public. David Tang talks about meeting Fidel Castro — and discussing The Battle of Dunkirk. Other contributors include Michael Gross, Anthony Haden-Guest and New York-born, London-based gallerist Kenny Schachter, who writes for the magazine’s art and collecting supplement.
Fortune and Worth are “too American” for this reader, according to Cash, and the Economist and the Financial Times, too mass. “The world has enough of [the luxury lifestyle magazines] in our view, and we’re not going for the Condé Nast market,” he said. “What the well-off want is information. They don’t want an aspirational title because they’re already living that life.”
If that spiel sounds familiar, it’s pretty close to that given by Robb Report and Worth. But that isn’t stopping Cash — he says he’s next interested in launching a U.S. version of the magazine, and is currently looking for investment. Perhaps he should start spending more time in the steam room?
— Samantha Conti