Glamour in the handbag puts profits in the purse

Britain's first handbag-sized glossy for women has proved a hit and becomeone of this year's biggest magazine sellers, trouncing its rivals with sales of 451,486 from January to June – more than double its initial predictions.

Britain's first handbag-sized glossy for women has proved a hit and becomeone of this year's biggest magazine sellers, trouncing its rivals with sales of 451,486 from January to June – more than double its initial predictions.

Pledging to make its followers simply feel glamorous, with features such as "My Happiest Moments" from Meg Matthews, and Whitney Houston, the magazine, Glamour, stands apart from more elite magazines such as Vogue. "What you also won't find in it are any articles on how to have 10 orgasms in an hour and what diet you should be on," a spokeswoman said yesterday.

The sales figure puts it just behind Cosmopolitan magazine, which has dropped 2 per cent in the past six months to 452,176, but ahead of Marie Claire which declined 8 per cent over the same period to 370,089. The celebrity gossip magazine Heat continued its run of success, pushing its circulation up by a massive 37 per cent in the past six months to 235,450. Another celebrity rival, Now, has also recorded a big increase of 9 per cent to 518,322.

The long-running battle continues meanwhile between arch rivals OK! and Hello! magazines which recorded figures of 651,513 and 842,723 respectively. The real sales story has been clouded this year by the ABC's decision to allow Hello! to offer the cut-price sales and give-aways of the magazine to readers of the Mail on Sunday.

With a similar deal in place with the Sunday Express, OK! magazine is thriving but has been prevented from recording these sales because the two share the same owner, Northern & Shell.

Plans to make the original lad's magazine more female friendly appear to have done nothing for sales of Loaded, which recorded a drop in circulation of 13 per cent to 305,444. Rival FHM magazine was also slightly down on last time with 700,172, a drop of 2 per cent, while FHM Collections, its fashion spin-off, managed to plummet to 55,511 – a decline of 21.9 per cent.

The Spectator, under the editorship of Boris Johnson, has recorded its highest circulation ever, at 60,776.

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