France Loisir is the largest book club in France, and 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 went to Actissia, a brand created in 2011 that belonged to the American investment company NAJAFI. In March 2015, Actissia Group became the property of the Luxemburg company ITS, and Adrian Diaconu, the founder of ITS, became the new group’s president, who appointed Jörg Hagen as Co-President and CEO of France Loisirs. In May 2016, Diaconu took over also operational control as the group’s President.
France Loisirs operates two main brands: France Loisirs and le Grand Livre du Mois (GLM). Each brand operates independently from each other, with different staff, different clients and different products.
In France and Belgium, Actissa operates 214 points of sale, of which 164 are a direct property of the holding.
As a book club, France Loisirs and the Grand livre du Mois mainly deal with licenses bought from other publishers in France and internationally. France Loisirs and GLM products are exclusively offered for sale to France Loisirs and GLM members. They are sold through three different channels. The main retail channel, in terms of revenues, consists of a network of nearly 200 boutiques or corner stores. Remaining sales come from online mail order through a catalogue published several times a year.
Analysis & Key Developments
In March 2015, Actissia Group was acquired by the Luxemburg company ITS under its founder Adrian Diaconu, together with parts of the defunct French online book retail arm of Chapitre.com.
The company announced a makeover of both its core brand and its portfolio for 2016, with a focus on merging digital and physical book revenue, by extending a crossover in the activities of the network of France Loisirs with the online retail platform Chapitre. Details have yet to be announced.
For 2015, France Loisir did not disclose any additional information to this report.
In early 2014, France Loisir’s turnover was impacted by the closure of 23 Chapitre outlets, France’s second-largest book retail chain, which each had a France Loisir branded section within the store.
France Loisirs has three foreign branches: Belgique Loisirs, which operates in Belgium; France Loisirs Suisse, which is based in Switzerland; and Quebec Loisirs, in the French-speaking province of Canada. Le Grand Livre du Mois has branches in Belgium and Switzerland.