March 12, 2012 00:00 By Watchiranont Thongtep
Editions Jalou, the owner and publisher of French fashion magazine L'Officiel, will spend US$20 million (Bt600 million) via a joint partner to bring its magazine portfolio to Thailand over the next five years.
"Thailand is such a wonderful and interesting country in Asia that Editions Jalou wants to bring fashion trends, lifestyle, art and design from France to Thai readers," said Ali Ziani, managing partner at Mass Connect. The firm is a 30:70 joint partner, respectively, between the 91-year-old French publisher and integrated communication agency Mass Group.
Ziani said his marketing research shows that Thais have a good perception of international publications. They are also health- and beauty-conscious, as well as early adopters.
Meanwhile, he said, luxury and brand-name stores were growing like mushrooms here. This reflects the fact that wealthy people continue to spend their money on high-class products, while middle-class consumers and first jobbers are eager to experience a variety of fashions and lifestyles, or so-called "affordable luxury".
With this in mind, Editions Jalou will spend $20 million to bring out a range of local versions of its magazines, starting with the L’Officiel Thailand edition, a monthly magazine with a circulation of 120,000, which launched this month. Ziani said the company plans Thailand editions of other publications under the L’Officiel group this year. L’Officiel Wedding will debut in June, followed by L’Officiel Watch in July, L’Officiel Hommes in September, and L’Officiel Art and Design in October. L’Officiel Kids and L’Officiel Beauty will follow at unspecified later dates.
Besides the stable of L’Officiel titles, Jalouse and Muteen were also in the pipeline, he said.
Mass Connect is developing a digital media platform for younger readers, so a digital magazine is planned, as well.
The company forecasts annual income of at least $2.5 million, or Bt75 million, in annual income, while the breakeven point would be hit in the next five years, Ziani said.
Additionally, a sister company, Mass Digital, has been set up to organise show-business events including fashion shows, fashion weeks and other activities to serve magazine advertisers. Mass Digital will also offer digital integrated communication services to those clients.
Through these efforts, Ziani believed advertising through L’Officiel Thailand would reach 70 per cent of total income, with the rest coming from business events and digital communication services.
In the next five years, the company expects half of all revenue will come from event-organising and digital services.