With circulation growth getting harder to come by, Condé Nast is going to the beauty aisle in search of new customers.
The fashion/beauty magazine publisher has struck a deal to sell subscriptions in Ulta, a 415-store beauty products chain, as part of an expansive marketing partnership. Initially, Glamour and Allure are being sold for $21 for a year’s subscription to both. Single copies are available, too. Over time, other Condé titles, which include Vogue and Vanity Fair, may be substituted.
Beyond the circulation component, Condé Nast titles will provide beauty and fashion tips and trend information to be displayed in Ulta stores and on its website. The companies also plan to develop in-store events together and share customer database expertise.
Thomas Hartman, senior vice president of corporate sales in the Condé Nast Media Group, said the Ulta program is more extensive in scope and length than Condé's previous circulation programs at retail. “The Ulta customer is a very strong prospective reader of many of our brands. Both in scale and duration, this is an unusual opportunity,” he said.
Subscriptions sold in combination can be an attractive way for publishers to meet their circulation promises to advertisers. The risk is that advertisers will look askance at low-price offers for titles as they question how much the customer really wants both magazines.
In the Condé Nast case, Ulta touts the subscription offer as the “best offer anywhere.” (Meaning, said Condé, in the U.S.) If bought separately, Allure and Glamour’s average subscription prices would total about $23.
The Condé Nast titles replace Time Inc.’s InStyle, which had been sold in Ulta’s stores since 2004, said Kimberley Grayson, chief marketing officer for Ulta. “Condé Nast was very interested in reaching our database, and we were eager to leverage their authority in fashion and beauty,” she said.