That IPC is prepared to invest Â£27 million in a new weekly celeb and fashion mag for women is a clear sign of their confidence in the market. This week 1.2 million free copies of the launch issue of Look are in the supermarkets and and newsagents.
With the publishers predicting weekly sales of 250,000 within a year, this is not a short term investment. They claim to have found a gap in the market, women in the 20s who are interested in celebrities and high street clothes rather than labels.
IPC Connect, the division with is publishing Look, sells 2.9 million magazines a week and says it is the clear market leader.
Look’s editor, Ali Hall, makes a good point to the Guardian. It is that the monthlies (they are losing sales) have lead times that make them unable to react to the high street where the hanger-life of new designs is short.
Top Shop, for example, puts 300 new products on sale every week. The shelf life issue is also one that affects sales in supermarkets which are responsible for an increasing proportion of print sales.
Supermarkets demand products which clear their shelves quickly and don’t hang around hogging their bit of space for a month. Marketing costs, including prime positions do not come cheap in supermarkets so it is only those with deep pockets that can hope to successfully launch a new mass-market title.