F!D Luxe (this link is to F!D Shops; the F!D link doesn’t work) is the News‘ direct hit on PaperCity, and I’ve heard a lot of compliments on it from Ladies Who Matter. Now the newspaper is copying PC in more than design: over the weekend F!D bins appeared in local eateries where PC is distributed, and I even spotted a few news boxes for F!D on corners. So the News has gone to war for the fashionista market it lost due to increasing ad pricing 10 to 15 years ago.
How big is this market? I’m guessing $4 million, maybe $6 million tops. So let’s put our pencils to work. If the News batters its way into the lead, it may add $3 million in revenues. But printing all those copies on that nice paper with all those very nice photoshas got to be expensive. So will F!D add a nickel to earnings?
Maybe the News is doing the right thing whether it makes money at it or not. Because the bigger question may be whether it has to enter into micro-competition like this to survive. One thing’s for certain: the News is scrambling. For a very good discussion of why, read this.