Panned for ditching Delia Smith and replacing her with Pippa Middleton, Waitrose appears to have had the last laugh, with its high-profile columnist contributing to a 17.4% increase in sales of its Waitrose Kitchen magazine.
News of the royal sibling’s appointment broke in February ahead of her first appearance in the magazine in April - and the publicity has had a dramatic impact on its reader numbers.
With monthly sales up 17.4% to 412,681 according to the latest figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), Waitrose Kitchen (rrp: £1.20) had grown faster than any other magazine during the period, and was now the UK’s 15th biggest title.
Morrisons magazine at number three was another big customer magazine winner, with sales up 10.3% to 1,293,617. And supermarket titles continue to dominate the charts, with Tesco magazine still top with 1,945,015 copies, Asda magazine in second place with 1,944,393, and Tesco’s Real Food in fifth spot (though Sainsbury’s magazine was ranked 46th). Only TV Choice, with sales of 1,282,276, featured in the top five.
Waitrose Publications editor in chief Ollie Rice refused to credit Pippa Middleton individually for the sales growth. “Communicating with our customers in a way that is relevant and entertaining is at the heart of everything we do. We believe this is why not only has demand for our magazine and newspaper gone up year on year, but we have growing followers on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. We see this content as a way of providing added value and building those all-important enduring relationships with our customers.”