CosmoGirl to Fold
Launched as the younger sister to Cosmopolitan in 1999, CosmoGirl announced Friday, October 10 that it was closing the magazine as of the December, 2008 issue. Now subscribers will get the sister publication Seventeen instead! Both owned by Hearst, the company decided to keep the stronger of the twins even though both have decreased in ad pages with CosmoGirl dropping 15.5% since last year compared with Seventeen dropping 8.8% in ad pages. The other popular teen title Teen Vogue, is only down 5.9%. Ironically, while these titles are slipping, mags like AP are increasing which says something about today%u2019s young reader and her interests. What surprised us was that there are 41 people on the editorial side of CosmoGirl and only 2 on the website. Clearly “print” still needs to learn that the internet is here to stay.
Hurley Offers Ecommerce
Selling direct to consumers online continues to be the most popular trend in retail right now as indicated by Hurley launching their ecommerce store with their new website. While it’s obviously a smart business decision and clearly the wave of the future, core surf, skate, and snow shops are up in arms about it, just as they were when Quiksilver, Burton, DC, Fox, Vans, Zoo York, Stussy, and RVCA did it, among others. Interestingly, when it comes to the action sports industry, rarely do people comment that American Apparel and Hot Topic also have ecommerce components, or that online boutiques such as Digital Gravel, Karmaloop, Giant Peach, Yellow Rat Bastard, and others are getting a major piece of the pie. Why, because they’re not considered core action sports competitors? As we have pointed out: the competition isn’t within the industry as much as it is outside of the industry, (i.e., Roxy has more to fear from H&M than Billabong Girls). And there’s more, people. M-commerce is where things are really headed. If you think direct-to-consumer via a website ecommerce solution is taking a bite out of the brick ‘n mortar pie, then m-commerce skips right past even going to a brand website as consumers can simply order via their phone, such as what many people in Japan have already been doing, and Polo Ralph Lauren launched in August. American Eagle also sees this as the future, offering a send-to-phone option whereby you can send AE items to your phone or friends via a text code.
Wal-Mart to Focus on Private Label Growth, Downplays Sustainability
Known for its inexpensive and wide range of products, from bathroom cleanser to clothing, Wal-Mart is taking a new tack in hopes of boosting revenue growth by concentrating efforts on premium private labels rather than national brands. Meanwhile, its push towards promoting sustainability, which was a big deal last year, is rumored to be taking a back seat. Estimated annual sales for Wal-Mart’s U.S. division are $30 billion, so when it announced its sustainability packaging and sourcing program, this was seriously big news last year and reported on every eco-friendly blog out there. Now however, the VP who ran the sustainability program, Andy Ruben, is the VP of private brands. It remains to be seen how Wal-Mart plans to increase its private label segment especially considering that its competitors have already been doing it for some time. But if it worked for Target, it could just work for Wal-Mart.