Time Out will no longer produce any Time Out Guide Books in 2016, the company has confirmed.
After the story was first reported by The Telegraph, a spokesperson for the company said the decision had been taken “as part of the continued evolution of the business”. The guides' sales have been in steady decline since 2006, according to Nielsen BookScan.
The news comes after the company made 40 redundancies across its UK and US staff in December – around 10% of its global estimated workforce of 400 – to concentrate refocusing the company into a “global multimedia business.”
A spokesperson told The Bookseller: “Time Out Group continues to transform from a traditional media company to a global multi-media business in the light of a radically changed economy and media landscape. As part of the continued evolution of the business, Time Out Group has taken the decision not to produce any new Time Out Guide books in 2016.”
The statement added that its Cape Town, San Francisco, Naples and Sydney guides would still be published as planned and that the company "expects that its retail partners will continue to stock the guides for the foreseeable future.”
Retailers contacted by The Bookseller said they had not received any communication from Time Out about the decision to end publication of the guides, nor had the guides' distributors.
Last year, Time Out travel guides sold just under £696,000 through the tills, according to Nielsen BookScan. Its sales have been declining since 2006, when it had its best-ever BookScan year of £3.2m. Its various guides to London (London for Londoners, Time Out Guide to London, London Eating & Drinking Guide, Things to do in London, London Guide for Children) have been its bestsellers, combining to sell 79,000 units since records began. The last time the Timeout travel guides sold more than £100,000 through the Total Consumer Market was in 2011, when it sold £133,872 in value.
The Time Out Group appointed Noel Penzer, managing director of AOL UK, as managing director of its European operation in February 2015.
The appointment formed part of a strategy to focus on Time Out’s “three pillars” of content, programmatic advertising and video.