Newsstand sales were down nearly across the board for fashion and lifestyle titles in the last half of 2009. Those that took hits include Vogue, with a 15.1 percent drop in single-copy sales; Allure with a 17.2 percent decline; Lucky with an 11.7 percent decline; and Marie Claire with a 14.6 percent decline. Faring better was Elle, sales of which only dropped 0.2 percent. Of course, the economy is mainly to blame for the declines. Many magazines are soothing themselves by holding on to the belief that, well, print is dead, and newsstand sales matter less in the face of many online revolutions, late to the party as theirs may be.
Yet some titles gained, like Harper’s Bazaar, with a 0.3 percent increase, and Vanity Fair, with an impressive 5 percent increase, buoyed by strong sales of the August issue with Heath Ledger on the cover. But the titles seeming to fare the best in the women’s fashion category are health-oriented magazines, including Health, with an 11.1 increase in newsstand sales, and Women’s Health, with a 3.3 percent increase. Just goes to show, no matter how crummy the economy and unemployment is, women will always find resources to pour into not being or getting fat.