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Marie Claire quietly ends US print edition after 27 years

Women’s magazine Marie Claire is ending its US print edition after 27 years, The Post has learned.

The magazine, which was sold by Hearst to British publisher Future Media in May, quietly informed its subscribers via a letter that its Summer 2021 issue would be its last.

Marie Claire subscribers will instead receive a print copy of Harper’s Bazaar, the fashion publication owned by Hearst, for the rest of their subscription terms, according to the letter, which was signed by Bazaar editor in chief Samira Nasr.

“I have some news to share: After the Summer 2021 issue, Marie Claire will no longer be available as an annual subscription but will instead focus on its vibrant digital platforms–, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.,” Nasr said.

Nasr added that Marie Claire would publish select special editions available for purchase at newsstands.

Subscribers not wishing to receive Bazaar would be offered refunds if they contacted Hearst. Although Hearst no longer owns Marie Claire, it is responsible for refunding or offering an alternative magazine, as customers who subscribed to the women’s glossy already paid for a full year’s subscription in advance.

The news marks the end of an era for the celebrated women’s magazine, which was founded in 1937 in France and then eventually sold to Hearst in 1994. Hearst had been operating Marie Claire in the US for 27 years as a joint-venture with the founding company, Paris-based Marie Claire Album, which it also sold to Future. 

Hearst Tower in New York
Hearst sold the US edition of Marie Claire to Future Media in May, ending its 27-year run as publisher.
Getty Images

The magazine had become known for covering a smattering of topics from lightening-rod issues like abortion, equal pay and domestic violence to more mundane fare like beauty tips, handbag reviews and fall shoe trends.

Neither Hearst nor Future returned requests for comment.

In a fractured media landscape brimming with more news and entertainment options than ever across digital, social media and streaming, some print publications have had trouble attracting readers and advertising dollars.

The pandemic has only accelerated the trend: Hearst quietly reduced Marie Claire’s frequency from 11 to 7 times a year in 2020. In May 2020 Hearst reported that Marie Claire’s total circulation hovered around 900,000 with newsstand sales hitting just around 11,000 copies sold. Just three years earlier, Marie Claire’s circulation totaled 1.1 million, according to the Alliance for Audited Media., a nonprofit media audit firm.

Marie Claire’s most recent circulation figures were not available, but whatever they are, they are likely to give the smaller Harper’s Bazaar a much-needed bump. Bazaar’s total circulation totals roughly 740,000 with less than 25,000 copies sold at the newsstand, the glossy said.

Hand holding a copy of the Harper's Bazaar magazine with Alicia Keys on cover
Marie Claire subscribers were informed that they would be receiving aHarper’s Bazaar for the rest of their subscription term, as the women’s magazine will cease its print edition.
Alamy Stock Photo

Although Marie Claire has built out a digital presence, which according to its media kit, attracts 15 million unique visitors a month, it has struggled to meaningfully grow beyond that.

Enter new buyer Future, which made it known in May that it would focus on expanding Marie Claire’s US digital footprint “significantly.” As for the print edition, the company was a little harder to pin down

At the time, a spokesperson for Future told The Post “print absolutely has a role in Marie Claire,” but when pressed how often the magazine would appear, there was less certainty.

“Following our acquisition of this iconic brand, we’re going to take some time to really understand how best we can reflect the needs of our existing and potential audiences,” the rep said. “We envisage a strong focus on our digital platforms as we expand the brand into new and exciting territories.”