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Women's magazines - the monthly titles are often described as glossy, or 'slick'. These pages coverr the main magazines and their histroies. They had a busy time around the turn of the century, but the sector calmed down as women's magazine publishers focused on launching weeklies. Perhaps one of the women's magazines will experiment with increasing its frequency, because titles such as Queen and Vogue were weekly or fortnightly until the 1980s. (Historical sales figures.)
In 2005, women's glossies saw total circulations in their sector increase by a fifth in the first half of the year (see table of women's magazines sales figures). The boom can be put down to several factors.
First, there were two big launches - Easy Living from Condé Nast and Emap’s Grazia. The latter aims to create a weekly glossy sector. Its Italian inspiration has thrived for decades, but it is 20 years since women's magazines such as Vogue in the UK were published fortnightly (at least for part of the year). IPC tried a similar glossy strategy with Riva in 1988, but this only lasted for six issues.
Second, there was aggressive price-cutting, for example Marie Claire dropped its price to £2 in the autumn of 2004.
Third, was the relaunching of women's magazines such as Eve (which was also sold by the BBC to Haymarket, but later closed) and the advent of dual format titles sparrked by Glamour – Marie Claire and Cosmo now come in A5 ('handbag' size) as well the large A4 formats.
Next, was the extensive use of cover mounts, particularly on women's magazines in the summer months (see list).
Finally, there was the growing popularity of women's magazines aimed at the 35-plus age bracket, with Good Housekeeping and Woman & Home standing out here. All the fashion magazines, HFUK's Elle, IPC's InStyle, and Conde Nast's Vogue and Tatler recorded sales increases.
Of course, there have been losers, with women's monthly magazines aimed at 20-somethings losing sales to the celebrity weeklies and weekly glossy Grazia (which put on 10 period-on-period increase to reach 170,783 even though it put 20p on its cover price to £1.70). Conde Nast's Glamour saw its second six-monthly circulation fall, down 5.5% year-on-year to 585,984. Its rival slicks, Cosmopolitan, Company, Marie Claire, New Woman and B all recorded sales falls also. HFUK's B suspended publication in March 2006.
This page links to profiles of women's monthlies, many of which are known as glossies or slicks because of their high production values and upmarket editorial. Some weeklies - such as Grazia and Riva - are included because of their attempts to establish themselves as weekly glossies. The Observer's two female supplements are included as examples of the competition faced from newspaper slicks (other examples being You from the Mail on Sunday, which is now sold on Tuesdays, the Sunday Times' Style, the Telegraph's Stella). Women's monthly magazines - past and present - are arranged alphabetically on the following pages:
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