Stateside Women’s Titles Suffer Newsstand Nightmare

10 September 2003

Women’s magazines appear to have been the big losers as US newsstand sales slumped in the first half.

Several women’s titles have reported major newsstand downturns that dwarf the estimated 5% decline across the industry. For example, Family Circle (Gruner + Jahr) and Woman’s Day (Hachette Filipacchi Media US) saw sales slide 28.6% and 20.6% respectively.

Theories abound for the sharp dip in distaff-oriented publications. Both Family Circle and Woman’s Day raised prices during a weak economy. Poor weather, war jitters and continuing economic uncertainty also played a part.

At Good Housekeeping (Hearst), sales suffered as readers sought to save money. “People were panicking,” declared editor-in-chief Ellen Levine, “and saving small amounts [of cash] wherever they could.”

Other explanations include the rising number of publications in the women’s market and changes in supermarkets – a major distribution outlet for female titles – that limit the opportunities to see magazines on the shelf.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff