The title lost 21.0% of its readership year on year and 13.7% period on period. But thanks to smaller drops elsewhere in the sector, which fell 4.8% year on year overall, Pick Me Up's circulation of 323,171 still keeps it sixth in the market.
H Bauer's Take a Break continues to lead the sector comfortably with a circulation of 920,060, despite a 6.3% year-on-year fall. Sister title That's Life suffered a year-on-year fall of 10.8%, dropping below the 400,000 mark to 386,875.
On paper, H Bauer's Bella was the success story of the real-life sector, posting a year-on-year rise of 27.4% to 243,991. But the title is still gaining ground after its disastrous fall in August 2008, when it plummeted 22.6% to 191,547 copies.
Despite a year-on-year fall for every title in the real-life top 10, the double-digit drop at Pick Me Up dragged the sector down furthest. Fiona Dent, managing director of IPC's women's weeklies division, attributes the decline to a shift in purchasing habits.
She says: "What we have seen is the impact of the credit crunch and a decrease in repertoire buying. As people reduce their repertoire, that has affected newer titles rather than more established brands."
Rob Lynam, head of national press trading at Mediaedge:cia, believes a shift in investment is partly to blame. "Some publishers have focused their investment on particular titles, so those that were weaker last time have fallen away," he says.
"This isn't helped by the fact that the real-life market is in long-term decline and we are in a financial crisis. That's the double whammy for the traditional weeklies."
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk