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August 8, 2023

Gardeners’ World generates £1.4m retail sales on single issue

Immediate Media credits investment in marketing, including social media influencers, with success.

By Amy Jenkins

BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine has celebrated its highest revenue edition in 15 years.

The May issue of Gardeners’ World, with its enclosed seeds and two-for-one garden pass, is always the magazine’s most popular edition. The 2023 edition sold 164,576 copies on the newsstand and generated £1.4million in retail sales value (£8.50 per issue).

According to ABC, Gardeners’ World (published by Immediate Media) had an average monthly sale of 247,705 in 2022 (around 200,000 of which were subscriptions). It usually sells around 50,000 copies on the newsstand.

The May edition included a pass offering two-for-one entry into 416 gardens around the UK.

The title’s managing director Catriona Bolger said the May issue was “almost like a second product within itself” that has to work as “a standalone product”.

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She said that far “more people visit gardens than actively garden or would be interested in a gardening magazine because it essentially takes you into almost the sort of domestic tourism space” and she noted that the marketing campaign featuring a middle-aged couple enjoying a day out leaned into the lifestyle element of the issue.

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The emphasis placed on value for money amid the cost-of-living crisis also played a part with the campaign “very aware that people are seeking economies in their own lives”.

The multimedia sales campaign included national television coverage, print coverage, and (for the first time) social media influencers allowing the campaign to “reach a high proportion of previous non followers”.

Bolger said that with magazines and print media “all having to work that much harder, just to stand still let alone grow, the challenge for innovation and investment and confidence in product and quality and value” demonstrates the need for “smart thinking” and “boldness” to “crank up the marketing and PR”.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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