British clothes retailer Next is to launch a customer magazine that it hopes will drive sales at its Directory business. The venture follows internet rival Asos‘s use of its magazine to generate shopper traffic. Next‘s magazine will be tested by a selection of its Directory customers and some copies will be distributed to undisclosed Next stores. A Next spokesman said: “The magazine will overwhelmingly support the Directory business, although the initial trial will not be going out to all Directory customers. It will be in paper form and not available online.”
Retailers are increasingly using magazines to drive sales and raise brand profiles. Online retailer Asos has achieved significant growth in average basket sales through its magazine. After its Christmas issue last year, basket size grew to about £133 for customers who had received the magazine compared with £61 for those who had not.
The Asos magazine has also become one of the leading fashion publications, with recent ABC figures putting its circulation at 450 000, just behind Glamour and Cosmopolitan. Next would not confirm a release date, but sources suggested it would be in the Fall.
Separately, Co-operative Group will launch a customer magazine on June 16th, to be distributed among members and via channels including e-mail. River Publishing has produced the magazine, which will have an initial print run exceeding 500 000 copies. Supermarket chain Tesco has also launched a new gaming magazine in partnership with media group Future.