British broadsheet newspaper The Times is set to launch a new digital luxury vertical Nov. 7. The new venture will be an online extension of Luxx, the paper’s luxury print magazine supplement published five times a year.
Curated by Luxx editor-in-chief Kate Reardon, the new digital luxury channel will appear alongside the paper’s other online main verticals including Business, Travel and Sport. Unlike the majority of the Times’ online content, which is reserved for paying subscribers, the channel will not be covered by the publication’s paywall.
The launch is the result of mounting interest in luxury coverage from both readers and advertisers, Reardon told BoF. While the publication declined to comment on Luxx’s print advertising revenues, The Times’ commercial director Caroline Tredget described the supplement as a “fantastic commercial success.”
“It’s a reflection…of how well the business part of this is doing for us and also how well the readers are responding,” Reardon said.
Coverage will encompass all aspects of the market, from watches, jewellery and fashion to travel, food, property and tech, leveraging the expertise of well-known Times’ journalists to produce “a mix of serious stuff you can really wrap your brain around; entertaining journalism; and an incredible edit of products,” Reardon said. Contributors will include Fashion director Anna Murphy, science editor Tom Whipple, food editor Tony Turnbull, and columnist Hugo Rifkind.
A series of luxury-related events will also be rolled out for Times’ subscribers.
The move to more aggressively court luxury advertisers comes as the industry’s sales have continued to surge throughout the summer months — leading conglomerate LVMH’s fashion revenues jumped as much as 24 percent year-on-year last quarter — in stark contrast to a broader macro-economic climate marked by rampant inflation and economic uncertainty. (In the UK, particularly, political turbulence and a cost-of-living crisis is squeezing many consumers.)
“Even though we cannot help but recognise how serious the times are financially for so many people, amongst this upper echelon of spenders and shoppers, we can see from all the data that the appetite [for luxury] is still very much there,” Reardon said.