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Cecile Corral

Tears are falling like Domino

February 6, 2009

My mailbox mourns, for lo, no more Domino.

 

Now that the shelter magazine that brought modish décor within reach to the masses is gone– it is permanently shutting its doors this week — I feel adrift.

 

My close friend, a real estate attorney, grumbled to me yesterday. Her sentiments summed up mine, too.

 

“Now all we have left is Architectural Digest and Elle Décor. What do we do with that? If I like a specific wallpaper they feature, I’d need to hire an interior designer to visit the company’s showroom to get me a sample. Oh, please. Domino made decorating accessible. It showed how to decorate with items from Target and West Elm. I could just run out and buy them that same day, and I could afford them!”

 

…Just run out and buy it…I could afford them…

 

But wait. There is more. A New York Times article this week echoed mine and my friend’s feelings – times thousands.

 

In the article, several pained readers were quoted. Take Jamie Meares, 28, who said she bought extra copies for inspiration in decorating her 1950s bungalow in Raleigh, N.C. “When Domino spoke, I listened,” she said.

 

These comments are enough to make any home textiles supplier shudder. Gone is yet another platform to reach their shoppers. Not only are retailers falling like – forgive the pun – dominoes; in recent weeks, “the home design category has suffered at almost every major publisher in just over a year,” said another article earlier this week in The Times.

 

They include: Time Inc., which closed InStyle Home and Cottage Living; Martha Stewart Omnimedia, which closed Blueprint; Meredith, which closed Country Home; Hearst, which closed O at Home; and Hachette Filipacchi Media, which closed Home.

 

Domino found a niche in the home marketplace and a good idea that, as its editor Deborah Needleman recognized, was not a good fit for the current economy.

 

“We tried to create a marriage between the beautiful image magazines and the useful service magazines,” Ms. Needleman said to the New York Times. “Editorially, we did what we set out to do, and in this economy, sadly, that’s not enough.”

 

Hopefully, when the economy starts to tilt upward again, the likes of Domino will return to newsstands for the benefit of not just its 800,000-plus readers but for the home product manufacturers and retailers it supported over its three-year existence.