by Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist
This week The Editorialist, a luxury e-commerce website, released it’s second print issue with Victoria’s Secret Angel Martha Hunt on the cover. The issue features interviews with Kate Hudson and Bruce Springsteen’s daughter Jessica Springsteen and arrives on newsstands with expanded distribution across U.S.
Cofounder Kate Davidson Hudson has stated that print rounds out The Editorialist and their previous February issue contributed to a significant jump in online traffic and increased conversion rates as well as a threefold increase in their subscription mailing list.
The boundaries between publishers producing magazines and retailers selling fashion have blurred in the first half of 2014. Online retailer Net-a-Porter also launched a glossy fashion magazine in February, Porter, complete with ads from the likes of Gucci, Burberry, Michael Kors and others. By The Impressionist count, Porter magazine has run 100 pages of fashion ads within its first two issues, making it a venture on par with other fashion titles.
While some may refer to these publications as “magalogs,” the quality of editorial content, volume of legitimate fashion advertisers, and subtle approach to selling with the barely there text, “Shop with the Net-A-Porter app,” certainly lead these publications to come off as full fledge fashion magazines. And in this new era, they are.
No doubt that the success of Porter’s launch contributed to Condé Nast recent formation of a The Lucky Group with online retailer BeachMint, owners of fashion e-tailer StyleMint and shoe e-tailer ShoeMint. The Impressionist anticipates retailers to take note and perhaps venture into this territory too.
J.Crew is half way there, according to it’s most recent annual report the company circulated 3.7 billion catalog pages in 2013, spending $51MM on catalog production. And this money is clearly well spent as direct sales of J. Crew via online and catalog for 2013 were $755.9 MM, representing 31% of their total revenue. Could the addition of editorial and newsstand circulation be far behind?
While we don’t believe Mickey and team to be headed in that direction, we do anticipate an out of the box retailer to take the leap in the next year, and wisely so as the cost associated to expanded ones direct sales from print are much lower than that of opening stores. And we also anticipate other online retailers to continue to amp up their editorial teams and reverse engine to print similar as a new means to market.
Essentially print has value, and it’s nice to see some the new school bridging a gap to the old one.
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