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Glamour's Newsstand Sales Drop 17%, Revenue Dips $1.5 Million

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The fashion media story of the day is WWD's report today on Glamour's newsstands sales, which have dropped 17% in the first four months of 2011. Doesn't sound like a big deal, right? It is. Glamour is Conde Nast's top-selling newsstand title and this 17% drop means that the magazine is, according to the trade publication, "off about $1.5 million in newsstand revenue alone in the first third of the year."

We never thought this would happen to Glamour's everlasting gobstopper (or "cash cow" as it's known in the industry). The WWD report is fascinating. We've excerpted part of it here (NB: We can't believe that Lauren Conrad was the biggest selling cover of 2010!):

Last year, the monthly sold an average of 550,900 copies through the first four months of the year; this year it has averaged 459,000. May and June numbers have not yet been released — a Glamour spokeswoman declined to give WWD internal stats — but May is likely to be off significantly as well. Last year, Glamour had its best-selling issue of the year in May when it sold 675,000 copies with Lauren Conrad on the cover. (A spokeswoman did say, however, that June projects to sell about 5 percent better than last year’s June issue.)

So what does the editorial staff of Glamour do when faced with this kind of crisis? Editor-in-chief Cindi Leive tells WWD that the entire staff had an off-site meeting to "try to wrap their heads around it."

First point of analysis: the cover stars. So far, Glamour has featured Reese Witherspoon, Kim Kardashian, Diane Kruger, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, and Olivia Wilde on its covers this year.

“We’re looking at the sales for the first couple months of this year and we’re thinking, ‘Geez, we’ve got to fight even harder to keep these girls,’” she said. “It’s the classic thing. A girl has 1.7 seconds at the newsstand to make her decision about your magazine. Are we using that 1.7 seconds as well as we should? If we need to do that more ferociously and with different people and different topics, then we will.”
· Glamour magazine off to a bumpy start in 2011 [WWD]