Publishing House "Lev" is discussing with retailers the sale of magazine products in private label format under the "Tsvetnyashki" franchise

Publishing House "Lev" is discussing with retailers the sale of magazine products in private label format under the "Tsvetnyashki" franchise

Lev Elin's publishing house Lev is considering launching a private label (private label) format with retail chains based on the Tsvetnyashki franchise (characters from the Platoshka animation studio). A similar format could previously be found in the British and American retail chains Tesco and Walmart. The project may allow the publishing house to gain a foothold in the main points of sale against the backdrop of a reduction in the representation of periodicals in retail chains, experts say.

The Lev Publishing House (formerly Egmont Russia, until 2016 controlled by the Danish Egmont Group) is negotiating with retail chains, including grocery stores, about selling magazines in private label format under the Tsvetnyashki franchise, said the company’s general director Oleg Vishnyakov. Now the publishing house publishes teaching aids “Multishkola” with “Tsvetnyashki”. Networks are offered an “exclusive, adapted format,” Mr. Vishnyakov clarifies: “It can be more expensive or cheaper, for example, by reducing or increasing the number of pages. Previously, our foreign colleagues had examples of a similar format for the retail chains Tesco and Walmart.” According to him, the publishing house is also discussing the release of board games and educational sets based on Tsvetnyashki.

The Platoshka animation studio clarified that they work with the Lev Publishing House on standard terms, “within the range of 8–15% royalty.” The company confirmed that they plan to expand the joint range - to release books (alphabet books, short stories, bedtime stories) and games for children.

The Lenta hypermarket chain says that they are not currently considering such projects in private labels. X5 Group (Pyaterochka, Perekrestok), Magnite (including Dixie) declined to comment. “Vkusville” did not answer “Kommersant”.

JSC "Publishing House "Lev"" publishes more than 30 magazines with an annual circulation of more than 10 million copies ("Paw Patrol", "Playing with Barbie", "Frozen", "Smeshariki", "Baby Babies", etc.). Among the original projects are the animal magazine “Toshka and Company”, the popular science magazine “Young Erudite”, etc. The publishing house’s share of the children’s magazine market, according to its own estimate, exceeds 65%. Revenue at the end of 2022 amounted to 1.2 billion rubles, net profit - 36 million rubles. Data for 2023 have not been published.

The market for children's publications in Russia is falling. In particular, in the Lev Publishing House itself, in the explanation to the balance sheet and the financial results report for 2022, it was noted that a number of rights holders refuse to work directly with companies from the Russian Federation and provide rights to products. Serious problems with coated paper, as well as consumables, equipment and spare parts for printing, also affected it (see “Kommersant” dated March 11 and October 5, 2022). As a result, sales of children's literature and publications for schoolchildren in the first quarter of last year fell by almost 30% (see “Kommersant” dated June 14, 2023).

According to the Russian State Library (RSL), by the end of 2023, 166 editions (1.3 thousand issues) of magazines for children and youth were published in the Russian Federation with an average one-time circulation of 1.9 million copies. The total annual circulation in 2023 was 20.9 million copies. In 2022, 188 publications (1.5 thousand issues) were published with an average one-time circulation of 2.3 million copies, according to the RSL data. The total annual circulation during the period reached 25.4 million copies. Thus, the drop in various indicators amounted to 12–18%.

In conditions when the market continues to decline, it is extremely important to find new formats for monetization and adaptation of goods, says a top manager of one of the publishing houses: “Thanks to private labels, publishers will be protected by an agreement with retail chains, will be able to promote their own brand and remain at the main points of sale.” . This measure will ensure their presence in stores, unlike other periodic products, Kommersant’s interlocutor believes. He believes that the project could be a good marketing ploy for retail chains, especially considering that the Ministry of Industry and Trade insists on maintaining periodic products in the range.

In January, due to the reduction and even complete exclusion of printed publications from the assortment of retail chains, the ministry proposed increasing sales channels through a new standard - an index of the provision of regions with specialized points of sale, including non-stationary ones. In March, a bill was introduced to the State Duma providing for a minimum provision of Russians with points of sale for newspapers and magazines.

Yulia Yurasova, Vladimir Komarov

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