After 15 years, Lucky magazine is going out of print "for now," a source familiar with the company's plans told Fashionista, confirming multiple reports published earlier on Monday.
Lucky's digital counterpart, luckyshops.com, will continue on — though, after multiple rounds of layoffs, with a much smaller staff than it enjoyed previously. Additional employees on the print side were laid off on Monday, plus one member of the online team, the source said.
Lucky has made no secret of the fact that it has been seeking outside investment or an acquisition to continue on. According to the source, a deal has been in discussion for some time, but the magazine was forced to close its print operations and lay off more staff Monday after a "key investor" pulled out of talks. The source added that the main investor, "a large digital media company," is still involved, as are other investors.
The news is not particularly surprising to anyone who has followed the Lucky saga in recent years. When Eva Chen was first named editor in chief of Lucky in June 2013, the shopping-focused magazine was already battling a sharp decline in ad pages, a trend that Chen — even with a glossy makeover aided by Anna Wintour — could not reverse. Last August, Lucky was spun off from Condé Nast into a joint venture with e-commerce company Beachmint, which was reportedly faring much worse. In February, the newly formed company launched a new enterprise, Lucky Shops, a website that housed both Lucky's online editorial content and a small shop of apparel and accessories goods selected by editors. Still, the bleeding didn't stop, and Lucky announced just last month that it would be reducing its print frequency to quarterly and laying off more staffers, including President Gillian Gorman Round.
Sad as the news is, it's full time for the Lucky Group to move on from print and focus on its digital future. But that will take time and investment, and it's not yet apparent whether the Lucky Group will be granted either.
This story was updated with information from an anonymous source.