Boots has suspended publication of its paid-for glossy magazine, citing a poor circulation of about 100,000 and the need to rethink its distribution methods.
The quarterly, published by Redwood, aimed to reach a circulation approaching 200,000. However, it was beset by problems about its location in Boots stores and disputes over editorial content.
“Boots couldn’t decide whether it wanted the title to give corporate-speak Boots information or be more magazine-like,” says one source.
“We are reviewing how to take the title forward,” says a Boots spokeswoman. “We think it could be selling more in proportion to the number of people coming through our stores. We have 27 million customers a month.”
The company is understood to have suspended publication to devote in-store space in to its Christmas catalogue promotions.
Redwood says the title was successful in converting magazine sales into purchases, and that readers liked it. The publisher claims ad sales were 80 per cent above target and that each issue sold 55 pages of ads out of a total of 148.
Boots’ The Magazine is the store’s second unsuccessful attempt to launch a paid-for publication. In the early Eighties, Boots’ Beauty and Skin Care Magazine was forced to close because store managers did not want to take responsibility for its distribution.
“We were hoping to replicate the Sainsbury’s experience,” says Mike Potter, managing director of Redwood, referring to Sainsbury’s successful paid-for title. “But we were trying to sell magazines in an environment where people are not used to buying them.”