Bauer expands homes offering, taps Chinese market

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 23 August 2016
The mastheads that make up the Homes to Love portfolio

Bauer is expanding its homes category offering with the second Chinese edition of Belle and a new editor for Homes + magazine, Sue Wheeler.

Wheeler joins Bauer after spending eight years as editor-in-chief of Pacific Magazine’s Women’s Health and Prevention, which announced its closure yesterday.

The decision to release luxury homes title Belle in Chinese follows the success of Harper’s Bazaar foreign issue. Bauer has been tapping into the Chinese market more this year, with the release of its first Australian Gourmet Traveller Chinese New Year edition earlier this year.

The Chinese edition of Belle will be released for Golden Week, which kicks off on the 26th of September.

Bauer publisher Cornelia Schulze tells AdNews the Chinese issues are sought after by both consumers and commercial partners.

“There is so much interest in the Chinese issues from our distribution partners, advertisers and readers,” she says.

Previously, Bauer’s Chinese issues have been available in Westpac branches, City of Sydney information centres and selected premium hotels, including The Star, Primus Hotel, Westfield Sydney and through Abercrombie & Kent Travel agents.

Schulze says there has been interest from newsagents to also distribute the Chinese issues.

Bauer is currently the leader in the homemaker category space, with the most read titles compared to publishers PacMags and NewsLifeMedia. Its current share of the market is 36.3%, followed by NewsLifeMedia with 34.9%.

Schulze refers to 68-year-old House and Garden as “the Bible” within the homes category, but says each title within the portfolio serves a different purpose and audience.

She says Homes + has found its place in the market since its launch in 2014, and the decision to bring on Wheeler as the editor shows how Bauer is investing in the category’s further growth.

“We are keen to have each title offer something different in the market and that’s driven by an editorial team but also by having an editor of each brand,” Schulze says.

Emma Vidgen was recently announced as the editor of Real Living. Schulze says the title offers quirkier, younger content.

The homes category was brought under the Homes to Love site back in 2014, as part of bringing all the content groups together around lifestyle themes. The portfolio includes Belle, House and Garden, Real Living and Homes +.

“Our portfolio covers the whole journey, whether you’re in your first apartment of buying your third property,” Schulze says.

Recently, Bauer added the top billing bar on the Homes to Love site to better distinguish between masthead contents. She says users can expect to see added navigation functionality in the future, so brand’s digital assets are not lost in the integration.

“Homes to Love demonstrates the full potential of the brand portfolio. It offers advertisers access to an audience of anyone interesting in homes.

“One destination makes sense in a digital world, but we still want to cater to sub clusters of readers.”

homes to love barBauer recently added the navigational bar at the top of the Homes to Love site

Building on the homes portfolio

Bauer continues to diversify its homes portfolio, through events and a tie-up with Myer.

House and Garden has sold products through Myer stores since 2011, but this year marks the first time the magazine will be sold at the retail giant.

“We felt it was a win-win proposition,” Schulze says. “We are always interested in having additional distribution and for Myer – it is able to offer an additional item to people who are interested in decorating their homes.

Earlier this year, House and Garden launched a landmark project to design, build and decorate a house that reflects the modern Australian way of life, in conjunction with partner Mirvac.

Schulze says it’s this type of commercial solution Bauer is proud to offer advertisers.

“We like to go beyond just the magazine and create ideas that address a challenge and give more than a double-page spread,” she says.

“Magazines are at the heart but we are very keen on making sure we have something to offer in digital, merchandising and events.”

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