by Nissa Hanna
Over the past few years I’ve subscribed to a number of home magazines … you know, for research purposes. When many of those subscriptions recently ended, it hit me that the slow crumbling of shelter titles has significantly reduced my renewal options.
Home design mags haven’t been protected from this economic storm. Shelter titles alone more than doubled from 2006 to 2007 (Magazine.org 2.09), but the rack volume has been retrenching ever since. Recent closures include: O at Home, Home, In Style Home, Cottage Living, House & Garden, Blueprint and — the hardest hammer to my heart — Domino.
Now that the slumping home-magazine market has left a hole where consumers (and bloggers) have traditionally turned for ideas, home brands and retailers are presented with an opportunity to step in and play a larger role in inspiring DIY decorators — especially those in the lower-to-middle-income brackets.
Expanding creative content on a website; partnering with decor writers, stylists and photographers to create pro-looking mini-mags; or providing advice from experts can go a long way in connecting with consumers who are missing their home mags. Because budgets may be deteriorating, but the need for inspiration isn’t.