IPC is testing two home-shopping catalogues, linked to established magazines, and plans to introduce the idea to other titles in its 70-strong portfolio.
The May issue of Your Garden carries a copy of the Your Garden Home Shopping Catalogue. The March 17 issue of Woman’s Weekly carried the Spring 98 Woman’s Weekly home shopping catalogue, offering clothes, shoes, housewares and some electrical goods.
“This type of shopping is on the increase and there are enormous possibilities for us,” says Julia Porter, business enterprises director at IPC magazines. “We have the opportunity to build products around the [magazine] brands. We will be evaluating the pilot over the next couple of months.”
In November last year, the National Magazine Company launched its first home shopping magazine called Country Living By Post and is evaluating other opportunities. EMAP Elan is also looking at extending its Red Direct phone line service to home shopping.
The entry of big brand players such as M&S, Boots and magazine titles into the 8bn home shopping market is likely to put pressure on the established agency mail order brands, such as Freemans.
News Analysis, page 19