UK Marie Claire to become digital-only as magazines continue to struggle
One of the UK's leading glossy, fashion-focused magazines is to cease publishing its print edition with Marie Claire becoming digital-only under licence from Groupe Marie Claire.
There were some alarm bells set off when publisher TI Media (formerly Time Inc) didn’t release Marie Claire’s expected circulation figures for January to June. The last set of figures, covering July to December 2018, had shown a circulation of 120,000 but with almost 35% being given away free. The mag’s website, by contrast, has two million users.
The 31-year-old publication is only the latest in a list of magazines to stop printing and switching to digital as a survival strategy and a way of reaching consumers via the online channels where they spend so much of their time. In the last 18 months, TI Media has also shut the print editions of celebrity magazine Now and venerable music title NME. In 2017, Condé Nast also closed Glamour as a print issue in Britain.
The closure doesn’t affect other international editions and the magazine will continue to be published in countries such as France, the US, Australia and Argentina.
TI Media, which is also the company behind behind such prestigious titles as Wallpaper and Country Life, is currently in consultation with the roughly 35 Marie Claire staff who will be affected by the print shutdown.
The new online focus won’t only be about editorial content with shopping links hugely important. The Marie Claire Edit shopping platform that works with retailers such as Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Topshop and Asos will be a key focus for the future, as will the Fabled beauty and well-being operation. Retailer Next bought out the share of this that belonged to Marie Claire’s original joint venture partner back in the summer.
Marie Claire UK launched in 1998 with Glenda Bailey as its first editor-in-chief. In its heyday it was one of the most important publications for fashion and beauty in Britain and was packed with advertising, as well as taking a campaigning stance on many issues affecting women. But advertising revenues have been falling in double-digits for a number of years as adspend has moved online and print magazines can’t make a profit purely from their cover price.
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