Glossy Talk: Grazia sales drop 19%; Famous gains again

Glossy Talk: Grazia sales drop 19%; Famous gains again

Newly appointed Grazia editor Kellie Hush certainly has her work cut out. The magazine suffered a 19% circulation decline last year with all the weekly titles posting losses except for rival Famous.

The fashion and gossip weekly, retailing at an exorbitant $6, reported a weekly sales average of 53,511 copies in the year to December 2010, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations survey, far from the projected sales of 70-80,000 copies per week touted by ACP when the title debuted in 2008.

Still, with new hires in place, the magazine's inaugural Shopping Awards in the making and discounted subscriber offers tempting casual buyers to secure their piece of gloss, ACP is not giving up on the weekly fashion glossy just yet.

It will be a small comfort to the Grazia team to know sales across the mass women's weekly segment declined 6.4% overall. Famous – one of the stars in Pacific Magazines' recent circulation history – was the only magazine to increase sales, reporting a trend-defying lift of 5.5% – the ninth consecutive rise for the title – resulting in an average of 90,242 copy sales each week.

However, things weren't always so rosy for Famous: editor-in-chief Gereurd Roberts was poached from ACP's NW, where he was then deputy editor, by Pacific in May 2008 to turn the fate of the flailing weekly around after it reported dismal sales circa 62,000. Together with a competitive pricing (the mag is now a comparatively modest $3.95) and marketing strategy, he's certainly worked wonders on the content (no celebrity butts about that). Famous was awarded the AMA's "U-Turn of the Year" accolade in 2009.

OK! also posted a big loss in the December audit, shedding 12.5% of its circulation (now 97,183 per week), followed by its ACP stablemate NW (down 9.3% to 116,260), Pacific Magazines reality weekly That's Life (down 7.9% to 261,311 copies), Take 5 (down 6% to 217,281), Woman's Day (down 6% to 385,016), Who weekly (down 5% to 131,229),  and New Idea (down 4.1% to 316,527).

Pacific Magazines is celebrating positive period-on-period growth for three of its weekly titles – Famous, New Idea and Who – with each posting a sales gain between the September and December audits.

"It’s no secret that both consumer confidence and expenditure have been hit hard during the last period," said Pacific CEO Nick Chan in a statement. "Against this tough retail backdrop, Pacific has performed solidly to increase share, deliver wins in key categories and further cement our long-term strategy of brand differentiation."

More circulation updates to come.

Girl With a Satchel