View Full Version : MOLE-skin, mole-SKEEN, mole-ay-SKEEN-ay going public

April 2nd, 2013, 06:06 PM
An article way back in March with all sorts of info about the most talked about notebook brand around. Makes for some very interesting reading.


Moleskine's operating margin, its profit as a percentage of revenue, was 41.7% last year. That compares favorably--indeed, very favorably--to the luxury brands the company considers to be peers, like luggage-maker Tumi (19.7%), fashion firm Prada (27.2%), and beauty-product boutique L'Occitane (16.7%). It's not hard to see why. The raw goods of Moleskine's paper products, which represent 93% of the company's revenue, are cheap compared to most luxury wares, so there's more room to mark up the price.

An illuminating chart from the company's IPO prospectus makes the case that Moleskine is actually the opposite of a stationery company

...... But that's the essence of luxury brands: they don't sell physical goods so much as the notions that the goods are supposed to represent.

Finally, Moleskine's sales by region:

53% of sales are in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, its largest market, but that's down from 63% in 2009, reflecting expansion in other markets. Recently, sales have been struggling in Italy and Spain (of course) but doing better in France and the UK.
36% of sales occur in the Americas. That's lower than one would expect for an English-language luxury brand, but the company hopes that having its own retail stores will help Moleskine the way they did Apple. A promising sign is that brand awareness of Moleskine in the United States rose from 7% in 2007, when it was really a European brand, to 56% last year, according to the company's own research.
11% of sales are in the Asia Pacific region, which has seen the greatest growth since 2009. The company attributes that to expansion in Australia and South Korea. Asia is also where Moleskine charges the most for its products, according to UBS, with prices in China and Japan almost double what the company charges for the same products in Italy

Gee I can see straight away how they could dramatically increase sales in Asia !!!! Bastards.

Here is a more stationery related view from the TigerPens Blog:

Cooler still would be the chance to go to a shareholders meeting where you could stand up and ask why Moleskines can’t be made to work with fountain pens.

April 2nd, 2013, 07:04 PM
I saw their Passion book journals in the local B&N and was thinking that its too bad they don't ask for suggestions as I could think of a few more FP related passion journals for them to do. Heck, even if they did a limited run or offered to print (on demand) x copies for a group buy.

April 3rd, 2013, 03:41 PM
Caribbean_skye NotebookStories had an April fool joke for an adult Passion journal.

I've almost been tempted by the Chocolate and Coffee or Wine ones.

The most obvious suggestion would be an Ink Journal for testing fountain pen inks on dodgey paper.
Brand related ones could be fun.
Noodler's could have an embossed catfish on the cover,
Pilot/Iroshizuku a makia cover and silver closure band (come to think of it I've a Paperblanks journal for that).
Diamine - a very thick one with a rainbow of inks splashed across the cover.
De Atramentis scented pages.

If I was a sitting about coffee shops jotting things bloke I'd like a Dinosaur Archeology Passions Journal and also Particle Physics one with a cloud chamber representation on the cover. Equally essential would be an Incredibly Complex Shopping List journal.

April 4th, 2013, 10:43 AM
Great Post (and blog entry)!

The Passion notebooks always looked nice to me, but they are seriously overpriced! Maybe I'ts me I live in a country under IMF siege. :cry:

April 4th, 2013, 02:27 PM
I fear that going public means that the books are going to get less fountain pen friendly.

April 4th, 2013, 04:48 PM
Great Post (and blog entry)!
The Passion notebooks always looked nice to me, but they are seriously overpriced! Maybe I'ts me I live in a country under IMF siege. :cry:

I don't think it is you. They are very expensive here $36AUD but around $17-$25 from the Bookdepository which is borderline acceptable. The Books, Beer or Cat ones look interesting too but I'm not so sure about the pre-printed sections. They do have a lot of stickers included. Will have to check one out.

KI - it would be interesting to see some sort of approximation on what percentage of owners use fountain pens. I could invisage a version with deluxe fp friendly paper for the Japanese market, then again the Japanese market has so many excellent gel pens that don't have issues with the existing paper.

For the life of me I can't see why many fountain pen people are so fritzed up about the paper not working to to their liking. It is not as if they are alone - most liquid ink roller balls with feather or go through just as much.
Really if you are that desperate to be seen using a Moleskine with your FP just rip out the paper and put the cover around a Rhodia or Clairefontaine notebook.

April 4th, 2013, 08:07 PM
I doubt very many FP users are in the Moleee target market.