retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that the new trend in magazines these days is “simple chic.” Considered a reaction to the complicated perfection being sold by Martha Stewart Living, a “new generation of publications tells women that they can short cut their way to a nicely decorated home, a decent wardrobe and a nicely thrown party.”

Among the magazines mining this trend: Time Inc.'s Real Simple, Hearst’s Chic Simple, and Budget Living.

The NYT posits that these magazines are print versions of retailing concepts like Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn.
KC's View:
Martha Stewart is even getting into the game with a new test of a magazine called Everyday Food, which sounds like is trying to be a print version of a supermarket.

But for supermarkets to allow Stewart to mine their territory borders on gross negligence. They should be doing this themselves -- producing content that informs, educates, enlightens and sells.

And if you don’t know how to do this, let MNB know. We have a little concept on the back shelf that you might be interested in…

Ultimately, however, the desire for simplicity is the desire for lifestyle solutions. And on the food front, that’s exactly the business that supermarkets and other food retailers ought to be in…and perhaps the way they ought to be selling themselves.