The National Magazine Company has responded to the magazine price war provoked by new rival Glamour by slashing the cover price of Company.
The November issue of Company appeared on news-stands this week with a cover charge reduced from £2.60 to £1.50. This matches the price of Conde Nast’s Glamour.
Duncan Edwards, deputy managing director of NatMags, admitted that Company was at the centre of a price war. In the latest ABCs, the title reported a period-on-period fall of 14 per cent and is believed to have been hit more than most by Glamour, which burst into the market with a debut ABC of 451,486 and has retained its low cover price since launch.
"We are now facing intense competition from new entrants to the market which have chosen to come in at an astonishingly low price," Edwards said. "To protect our position, therefore, we have no option but to drop the price." Although a NatMags spokeswoman claimed the price change was a permanent move, it is not known how long the company will be able to maintain the £1.50 cover charge.
Simon Kippin, the publisher of Glamour, said he had no plans to cut the price of the magazine. "I think we are extremely good value as we stand," he told Press Gazette.
Kippin pointed out that the current issue of Company featured a promotion for a forthcoming issue with the original price of £2.60.
"My own feeling is that they have kneejerked in a panic and forgotten to change the page," he said. "But our success was not based on price – it was based on size and a combination of other things." He said the September issue of Glamour had outperformed its August ABC figure.
In August, when Conde Nast placed a series of double-page adverts claiming it had overtaken Cosmopolitan on the UK news-stands, NatMags chief executive Terry Mansfield said in an e-mail to staff he would rather invest in his titles than spend money on a "phoney" advertising war.
But sources suggest the market difficulties have been felt company-wide.
She magazine felt the pinch with an ABC decline of 14.3 per cent and a number of redundancies were announced last week on the homes titles.
Two editorial staff, including a designer and an associate home editor, lost their jobs on Your Home and the post of practicals editor was made redundant on House Beautiful.
NatMags said the job losses were connected to difficulties in the homes sector and a company restructure earlier in the year following the takeover of Gruner+Jahr.
Your Home was also hit badly in the latest ABCs, reporting a circulation drop year-on-year of 20.6 per cent. House Beautiful, which remains the sector’s second biggest-selling magazine in the sector after Ideal Home, reported a year-on-year fall of 8.5 per cent.