With a lengthy list of licences already on board, Alligator Books has impressive plans to further increase the scope of its creative range over the next year.
Commercial director, Neil Rodol says: “We’re always on the look out for new licences with many exciting new licensed deals in the pipeline.”
The licensed products make up 60 per cent of the company’s portfolio and the company finds evergreen brands like Thomas always perform exceptionally well. More recent brands, which have been notable for their success in 2008 for the firm are High School Musical and Dora the Explorer.
Rodol founded Alligator Books with Andrew Rabin in November 1999, having worked together at a previous publishing house. Over the past nine years, a number of acquisitions and purchases have strengthened and grown the company, which now employs 40 staff.
In 2002, Alligator purchased the assets of Kenleys, a manufacturer of fashion led gift boxes and gift bags, which held licences including Hello Kitty, Disney Princess and Rachel Hale.
Three years later, the firm purchased a sizeable range of non-fiction titles from Chrysalis Children’s Books. The products include illustrated reference books and adding a new dimension to the company’s generic publishing programme by broadening the range of titles.
Alligator’s rapid expansion led to its acquisition by International Greetings in April 2006. Last year, the firm purchased Pinwheel out of administration and Alligator Books is now reprinting the back catalogue of 400 titles under its Cupcake imprint.
With the constant growth and regular changes, Rodol sees a bright future for Alligator: “I see the business in a year’s time as still being a fun, dynamic place to work and still growing.”
Rodol also feels that the breadth of product has helped keep the company buoyant throughout the recent economic downturn. He comments: “Our sales continue to grow year on year despite the difficult retail climate which can be attributed to the depth of our licensed portfolio, the pocket money price point of our products and our comprehensive retail distribution network.”