It looks like She is the winner in a tough women's lifestyle sector, with its news stand sales up 13.3% year on year and 4.5% in the period January-June. Psychologies continues its promising growth, and Cosmopolitan kept its nose
in front of the pack with a 3% increase year on year.
Glamour is the biggest seller among the glossies, but its share seems to have peaked. The rebranded NW (formerly New Woman) was the biggest loser, its circulation slumped by a barely credible 45.3% over the period and Eve also lost ground.
The weeklies sector saw established titles struggle as new launches gained popularity. Look debuted strongly with an ABC of 315,104, but only Grazia and Reveal among the established titles could boast increases over both the year and the period. Now, Heat, Hello! and Closer all slipped slightly, while OK! just about held its own year on year.
All the 'real life' titles took a tumble - the sector as a whole is down 5.9% year on year - with even market leader Take a Break shipping readers. The best performer, Pick Me Up, saw a 0.4% year-on-year drop.
Best's performance, a 5.9% year-on-year fall, looks poor until you compare it to Bella, which has lost 83,286 copies - more than a quarter of circulation - since the same period last year.
Woman, Woman's Own and Woman's Weekly all saw drops of between 3 and 5% in the period January to June - Woman was down 11.4% over the year.
Men appear to be deserting the printed word in droves as year-on-year circulation falls in the sector look like cliff edges. Loaded (down 35%), Maxim (-26%), Bizarre, Arena and FHM all felt the drop. GQ, Esquire, Men's Fitness and Men's Health just about held on to the ledge with small increases.
No one's singing in the music press, either, with Q, Kerrang!, NME and Uncut all hitting bum notes among readers.
Q, with the highest circulation, has fallen 17.7% year on year. Classic Rock and Metal Hammer put in chartbusting performances with rises of 20% and 8.3% respectively against an overall drop in the sector of 3.1% year on year.
What's On TV kept its top slot in the listings sector ahead of TV Choice, but while both slipped year on year it was TV Quick, down 14.3%, which suffered the biggest turn-off.
The soap titles were a real success story and cleaned up, with both All About Soap and Soaplife showing good growth over the period.
The Economist leads the news and current affairs titles, but Investors Chronicle is one of many to feel the threat of online information sources. It fell 12.6% year on year.
There was some comfort in the Home Interest category, with Grand Designs, Your Home and House & Garden looking healthy. The top two in the sector, Ideal Home and House Beautiful, both slipped back towards the pack.
Sources: Comag, Brad.
Fighting fire with fire
The relentless rise of the internet may be a challenge to the printed word, but it's also one of the best tools retailers have to ensure they get the maximum return from their news and magazine shelves.
Smiths News' Connect 2U service is continually updated, making it the quickest and easiest place to find out about new titles, recall dates, SOR changes and frequency changes, plus a whole lot more vital information for effective news retailing. There's even a discussion forum where you can find out how others are dealing with the same challenges that you face. You can access the site through www.convenience-store.co.uk and you don't need to be a member or a Smiths' customer to use it. All you need is an internet connection - and if you still haven't got one of those...why not?