Category Archives: Middle-East

Condé Nast to plan more upscale magazine launches in India

According to a recent article published in the FT, Condé Nast International reveals it is ready to follow the September 2009 launch of the Indian edition of Vogue with other upmarket titles as the global fashion and luxury retail industry looks to cash in on the country’s growing affluence.

The American publisher is seeking or has obtained regulatory approval for magazines such as Glamour, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller, Vanity Fair and niche publications such as Wired, the technology-focused magazine.

“We’d like to get the Vogue launch right first and soon after that start kicking off some of these other launches,” said Alex Kuruvilla, managing director of Condé Nast India, in the FT article.

India is emerging as one of the world’s biggest “millionaire factories”, with a study by Cap Gemini and Merrill Lynch showing it was second only to Singapore in terms of the growth in the number of people with net assets of $1m or more.

But it is not that easy to enter the Indian market.  Indeed, the luxury retail industry faces many hurdles there  from a lingering cultural and political aversion to conspicuous displays of wealth, with many people still living in deep poverty. It also faces challenges from high taxes and a lack of suitable malls for luxury retailers.

Mr Kuruvilla said Vogue would launch its first edition with an October cover date on September 22 with a target print run of 50 000 copies, taking on titles such as Elle, L’Officiel and local magazine Verve.  He added that these magazines had targeted a middle-market audience while Vogue was looking to cater for the new class of high-net worth consumers emerging in India.  He said the magazine was expecting advertising yields of four to five times the existing competition and to capture 50-60% market share of fashion-related advertising revenue in the first year.

In China, Vogue broke even in its first year, capitalizing on the rise of the affluent classes there. “I don’t think we’d be too far behind in terms financial achievements albeit with a smaller model,” Mr Kuruvilla said of the Indian operation.

The launch of Vogue follows the entry into India of luxury retailers, such as Ermenegildo Zegna, the high-end Italian men’s wear company, and Hermès, the French luxury goods maker.  According to Mr Kuruvilla, India’s luxury retail market is ripe for a “tipping point”. It was only a matter of time before “it all explodes into a combination of the purchasing power, fuelled by mall access points and, most importantly, by the fact that there are so many of these luxury players coming in right now”.

On the other hand, as Ranjan Biswas, partner and head of retail with Ernst & Young, countered in the article, India first needs more high-end malls before the industry could take off. “I think as the high-end mall becomes a reality, luxury retailers will start to have more meaningful footfalls,” Mr Biswas added.  Maybe Vogue can invest in a Vogue-branded Mall as well.  Hasn´t Condé Nast International already started to dabble in the restaurant business?

Forbes to launch Middle East edition in October

US business magazine Forbes has announced the signing of an agreement to launch Forbes Middle East in partnership with Arab Publisher House.

The launch will be held in Dubai, with the first issue expected to be published in October 2010. Forbes Middle East will have an initial circulation of 25 000 copies, with a planned hike to reach 30 000 within six months.

The magazine will be based in Dubai and printed in Arabic starting in October, and also in English beginning in 2011.  Both versions will feature online editions as well.

Arab Publisher House has already set up its headquarters in Building No. 4 of Dubai Media City (DMC), a member of TECOM Investments Media Cluster. A sign bearing the logo of Forbes Middle East, APH’s flagship publication, will be prominently displayed over the building.

Mohammed Abdullah, Managing Director, Media ClusterTECOM Investments, said: IMPZ is extremely pleased to welcome another top-level partner, especially one as important as Arab Publisher House, publishers of Forbes Middle East. This is a Continue reading

First Arabic edition of National Geographic to be published

Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) and the National Geographic Society have announced a partnership to publish the first Arabic-language version of National Geographic Magazine.

National Geographic Al Arabiya will provide readers in the region with greater access to National Geographic magazine’s award-winning features on geography, archaeology and natural science, as well as its iconic imagery of natural beauty from around the world. Complementing this global content, more than 20 percent of each issue will be generated locally, with unique features of particular relevance to regional readers. National Geographic Channels International & Abu Dhabi Media Company also broadcast the National Geographic Channel in Arabic across the Middle East.

The new monthly publication, National Geographic Al Arabiya, will be available Continue reading

Condé Nast graduates from the Gehry-designed cafeteria to the restaurant business

As reported by the WSJ, US magazine publisher Condé Nast is taking some of its best-known magazine names like Vogue and GQ and parlaying them into the restaurant business in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.  The effort reflects a growing openness among magazine publishers to try to capitalize on their brands beyond print, which continues to struggle in a tough advertising environment.

The restaurant venture only involves Condé Nast’s international unit, so there are no plans for a Vanity Fair Café or a New Yorker Bar & Grill in the U.S. That being said, the American magazines have been freed to reach their own deals, such as lines of jewelry or furnishings or e-commerce partnerships to name a few that Glamour US dabbled in recently.

“I think there’s been a new openness in the entire organization to experimenting, trying new things, and I would say thinking about the business model in new ways,” said Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman of Condé Nast International.

The company is establishing a new division, called Condé Nast Restaurants, Continue reading

Middle-East: Grazia to launch new English-language edition in Bahrain with ITP

Mondadori and ITP have signed an agreement for the publication of the Bahrain edition of fashion magazine Grazia, which is expected to hit the newsstands in September.

Edited by Kerrie Simon, Grazia Bahrain will be published monthly in English and will be the only English-language weekly luxury fashion magazine in the Middle East. The mix of exclusive and attention-grabbing A-list news, combined with an inside track on local and international style, makes Grazia a must-read for fashion lovers across the region. In their own words, readers are “addicted” to the weekly fix of fashion that Grazia guarantees

Circulation for the new foreign edition of the Italian magazine brand is expected to be over 10 000 copies per issue and it will be distributed both through newsstands and at large-scale retail outlets with special display stands.

The Bahrain edition will operate alongside Grazia United Arab Emirates, which was launched (also under a licensing agreement with ITP) in November 2005.

The cover price of Grazia Bahrain will be BH1 (or about €2).  Click to download full media kit in PDF.

Martha Stewart Living expands internationally

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is to launch Everyday Food in Dubai in July 2010. The monthly title will have a circulation of 35000 and will be distributed in Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Syria and Jordan.  The US edition of Everyday Food currently reaches 4,5 million readers a month.  Additionally, Martha Stewart Weddings is also set to launch in Dubai by October 2010, under license from local entertainment firm Takhayal.  The quarterly bridal magazine will have a circulation of 40 000 and will be distributed in Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Syria and Jordan.  The US edition of Martha Stewart Weddings, which debuted in 1994, currently circulates about 230 000 copies every quarter.

Also, Martha Stewart Living magazine will launch in Indonesia under a licensing agreement with Kompas Gramedia, the largest media conglomerate there. The monthly home title will launch in August 2010 with a circulation of 20000.

Lastly, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Pizzazz Media to produce and distribute Martha Stewart Living in the UK. The new edition, which will be distributed throughout the UK, New Zealand and Australia, is expected to be published on a monthly basis following the September 2010 launch.  The magazine’s circulation is 50 000 and the cover price is £3,75 (€4,52).

Kuwait: celebrity weekly Gala launches local edition

Celebrity weekly magazine Gala  continues its internationalization.  Indeed, it is about to make its debut in Kuwait with the June issue.

After launches in Syria and Lebanon last year, this is the third edition of the international celebrity and lifestyle magazine from Gruner + Jahr published under license in the rapidly growing Middle East region. This means that there are now editions of Gala in Germany, France, Poland, Russia (Gala Biografia), Croatia, Lithuania, Syria, Lebanon and now Kuwait.

G+J International’s partner in the Kuwaiti venture is the United Group, one of the region’s biggest publishers. In addition to license editions of “Marie Claire,” Gala Syria and Gala Lebanon, it also publishes its own high-end publications. Gala Kuwait will be available monthly in newsstands at a cover price equivalent to about US$3,40.