Consumers Union to Launch ShopSmart Magazine for Women

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Consumer Reports magazine publisher Consumers Union Aug. 1 debuts a new quarterly title called ShopSmart that is aimed at women over 30.

The no-advertising magazine will help women shoppers make decisions based on the independent analysis model supporting Consumer Reports. It enters territory peopled by shopping titles like Lucky, Shop Etc. and Domino.

"Women's shopping magazines too often read like product catalogs, serving advertisers and not their readers," Jerry Steinbrink, vice president of publishing for Consumers Union, Yonkers, NY, said in a statement. "In our intensive consumer research we found tremendous enthusiasm for a magazine like ShopSmart."

Initial circulation rate base is 800,000, with nationwide sales at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Safeway, Publix, Borders and Kroger. A single copy costs $4.99.

ShopSmart will use secret shoppers - like the 4.1-million-circulation Consumer Reports does - to make sure that the reviews match the products. Readers also will receive tips and pointers on getting the most out of their purchases.

Lisa Lee Freeman is editor of ShopSmart. She previously held senior editorial positions at Consumer Reports, CosmoGirl, Working Woman and Investor's Business Daily.

Magazine spinoffs in the Consumers Union family include Consumer Reports on Health and Consumer Reports Money Adviser. In addition to the flagship Consumer Reports title, the site at www.consumerreports.org has more than 2.3 million paid subscribers.

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