Vogue Goes Big in the Fashion Niche

Vogue-May-2016Vogue’s been putting on a little weight lately, and the title sure does carry it well.

“Have you gained weight? You look fantastic!”

“The May issue [of Vogue] is a physical inch wider than past issues, $1 more expensive on the newsstand, and select pages are printed on a heavier paper stock,” writes Erika Adams in Racked. “The summer issues will shrink back down to standard sizing, but in September, Vogue will again increase its size and nearly double its price on the newsstand.

“Vogue isn’t the only one debuting a larger size,” Adams continues. “Over at Hearst, Elle and Marie Claire transitioned to the same wider format in March, and both Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar have been publishing bigger physical issues each month for several years.”

No size shaming here: we love it when a magazine expands into a more luxurious size. The publisher is hoping that this new size and the bigger price will help reverse the downward newsstand sales of recent years.

“By presenting the magazine as a more upscale, luxurious product for that month, Vogue may be hoping that consumers will be more apt to buy it and keep it on the coffee table for awhile,” Adams writes.

“It’s not a terrible idea,” says Aileen Gallagher, a magazine media professor at Syracuse University, “The September issue is a special issue of Vogue and if they market it almost like an annual, then you can get away with charging more for it because it might also draw the untraditional Vogue reader, not just your standard subscriber,” she explains. “They may have a great success where that one issue sells much much more — it’s already their bestselling issue every year anyways, but you can make more revenue off of it if you position it in a different way.”

Adams reminds us that Vogue, always a leader in high fashion, is actually following this trend of larger, more luxurious print editions.

“Specifically at Marie Claire, the magazine’s VP and publisher Nancy Berger Cardone says that the new size and upgraded paper stock helps deliver a better all-around product experience for both readers and advertisers,” Adams notes. “When she heard that Vogue was trying out a more premium look after Marie Claire had already converted over months earlier, Cardone took it as a vote of confidence in what Hearst’s magazines were doing.”

It makes sense. The allure of a printed magazine continues to fascinate readers, and Vogue reported higher ad page counts for the critical March issue. We love the trend and think consumers are likely to respond well.