Bernie Goldbach in LSAD-Clonmel | Image from Notemaker.
OUR 5YO HAS VOTED for something other than black in our Moleskine line.
We've shown her how to safeguard her emerging artistic talent between the hard covers of Moleskine notebooks but she is getting bored with black. You can't say the same for the market, however.
According to The Economist, Moleskine is worth at least €424m and it is offering some of its shares to the public. Trading in the shares should begin on the Italian stockmarket on April 3, 2013.
I started using Moleskines in 1997, two years after several Italian businessmen resurrected the business. According to a little insert that comes with each Moleskine, the notebooks enjoy a long pedigree that extends to writers and artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin. Sales, margins and staff numbers have all risen fourfold since Moleskines started appearing next to iPhones. Moleskine made a net profit of €13.8m on sales of €67.3m in 2011, up by about 60% from 2009.
Moleksine has efficiently defined coolness in analogue space, by sometimes nestling right next to high-end gadgets and licensing its brand for use with some of the best software I own. The little books go well as places to doodle, mind map, and write. Its app is weak but other integrations (like the Evernote app) have proven to be very strong. And its smart covers for the iPad work well.
But more than 90% of Moleskine sales still come from paper products--and those sales come with nice margins. As reported by The Economist, "Chinese suppliers make 96.5% of Moleskine's paper products and 70% of its other lines. In the first nine months of last year the firm spent just €14.5m on materials and labour, yet it brought in revenue worth €56.6m. The difference between sales and costs was €42m, gross margin was €25m and net profit €14m, numbers to turn simple manufacturers green with envy."
It is difficult finding my preferred Moleskine (the journalist edition) for less than €12 in Ireland. I saw it for €10 in Sicily a few years ago. Unruled notebooks without the Moleskine brand that contain 190 pages rarely cost more than €7 in the same stationery shops where I get Moleskines.
And now, thanks to the creative Australian talents, I can get my Moleskines in vibrant colours from Notemaker. I'm going for Magenta, planning on buying $100 worth of them to get free shipping from Oz. The specification promise "all of the design features you are used to from Moleskine notebooks - rounded corner design, ribbon page marker, expandable inner pocket, elastic closure, premium finish hard cover, in case of loss title page, thread-bound pages, off white, acid-free Moleskine paper stock." Bookmarked.
The Economist -- "The Value of writing in style", March 18, 2013.