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City Mags Mull Targeting Local VIPs

Luxurymags_1Lucky Magazine, look out. You're about to get attacked on the higher end by all sorts of luxury magazines whose only goal is to make it easier for the superrich to buy things.

"High-end brands want to be in publications where luxury is celebrated with local content to drive business," said Niche Media honcho Jason Binn. "They want direct access to the consumers in their respective cities with targeted distribution and exclusive marketing opportunities." Niche Media publishes glossies like Hamptons, Gotham, Ocean Drive, Aspen Peak and LA Confidential,  with new titles Capitol File and Boston Commonwealth launching later in 2005.

Absolute Publishing is going to target the 60,000 New Yorkers that make at least $500K a year, with the aid of former Details magazine #2 man Andrew Essex. Absolute created their circulation list by winnowing databases of the most affluent New York ZIP codes with people who have bought houses for more than $2 million and people who have registered cars, boats or planes that cost more than $75,000.

"It's a small number," said publisher Ernest J. Renzulli. "But this is not a magazine that's about mass reach. It's about reaching the tip of the pyramid."

As the number of high net worth indviduals (people with financial assets of at least US$1 million, excluding home real estate) continues to rise, luxury brands covet them for their clientele. Michael Silverstein, an executive with the Boston Consulting Group and co-author of the book "Trading Up: The New American Luxury" estimates that by 2010 Americans will spend $1 trillion on luxury goods.

At the same time, this audience is going to become more savvy about technology and horrified at the potential of getting hacked. They're going to look for ways to scour their names from the Internet, and increasingly, print mags like this may provide the best way to balance anonymity with the perks of being a VIP.

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