France Loisir is the largest book club in France. It was founded in 1970 by Bertelsmann and French publisher Presses de la Cité.
After Bertelsmann divested most of its international book club holdings, France Loisirs and Actissia (a brand created in 2011) went to the American investment company NAJAFI. In March 2015, Actissia became property of the Luxemburg company ITS, whose founder Adrian Diaconu became the new group’s president. Diaconu appointed Jörg Hagen as Co-President and CEO of France Loisirs.
France Loisirs operates two main brands: France Loisirs and le Grand Livre du Mois (GLM). Each operates independently, with their own staff, clients, and products.
France Loisirs and GLM license books from other publishers in France and abroad and sell them exclusively to book club members through a network of special sections in 200 bricks-and-mortar bookstores, as well as online and through the mail.
Analysis & Key Developments
France Loisirs SAS sold off several of its brands in recent years, therefore the data gathered and disclosed represents significant changes.
In early 2014, France Loisir’s turnover was impacted by the closing of 23 Chapitre bookstores, France’s second-largest retail chain. Each location featured a France Loisir section.
Sales developed more strongly than expected from April to November, but were followed by a weak Christmas and holiday season. The company launched a new logo and in-store concept and overhauled the website in mid-December 2014.
France Loisirs has three foreign branches: Belgique Loisirs (BL), France Loisirs Suisse, and Quebec Loisirs. GLM has branches in Belgium and Switzerland.
Since 2013, Actissia Belgique’s turnover encompassed both BL and GLM from the Libris Agora bookstores. In 2014, BL and GLM produced a turnover of 21 million EUR, a drop of 6.4 % from 2013.
France Loisirs Switzerland reported a turnover of 17 million CHF, down 9.8 % from 2013. Québec Loisirs had revenues of 20.22 million CAD, a 13.6 % drop from 23.4 million CAD in 2013.
Some of the books offered through the clubs are also available in digital format.
Bestselling authors & titles
Successful club editions of bestselling authors in 2014 included Marie-Bernadette Dupuy, Danielle Steel, Harlan Coben, E.L. James and Guillaume Musso.