Fashion Magazine Elle diversifies in China

The Chinese edition of Elle magazine, bought by Hearst last year, now expects growth “of about 20% in 2012 and 2013” in its turnover, said Wednesday the China CEO of Hearst, Mier Ai.

Been the first women’s magazine published in China since 1988 with two issues per year, the magazine is now published bi-monthly and claims 1.3 million readers, its website ellechina.com has 1.8 million subscribers and 10 million unique visitors per day. It ranks first in China before the Bazaar and Cosmopolitan. The Chinese subsidiary of Hearst intends to develop the business and expand to 300 cities because “the demand is there, it’s strong, and growing,” said Mier Ai.

Hearst has increased the frequency of the distribution to make Elle China the first bi-monthly among 43 international editions of Elle, with price halved.

“With over one million readers, Elle China has a high growth potential,” especially as “the stability of the economy and consumer confidence” is bound to facilitate its development , according to the CEO.

The magazine employs 600 people including 50 for the print edition of Elle and 80 for the online magazine. 85% of its revenue is generated by advertising of big Western advertisers, including luxury brands like LVMH, L’Oreal, Arman, Gucci etc..

It has diversified its business model China: an iPhone app with 800,000 downloads, TV program, and since the beginning of the year, Elleshop.com.cn which brings traffic to its new partner Thecorner.com. Hearst gets a commission between 10% and 20% for each purchase.

Finally, over a million women use the credit card “Elle” created for women in partnership with China Merchants Bank in 2009. A good way according to “identify new patterns of consumption” of their owners, according to Mier Ai.