Sainsbury's to develop exclusive children's range

Sainsbury's to develop exclusive children's range

Sainsbury’s has partnered with Centum Books in a three-year deal to develop an exclusive range of children’s titles for the supermarket, aiming to bring out 150-180 books in the first 12 months.

The deal will cement Sainsbury’s as “the destination for children’s publishing”, according to Phil Carroll, the chain’s head of books.

Devon-based Centum Books was founded in 2011, sells books in 12 languages across 30 markets and holds licenses for brands such as One Direction, Despicable Me, WWE and Jurassic World. The partnership with Sainsbury’s will see the publisher and retailer develop a range of books aimed at children from birth to seven-years-old, under a new imprint to be titled Centum Publishing.

The aim of the partnership is to “consolidate and build on the success Sainsbury’s has experienced with the programme of own-brand titles that is currently selected from a range of UK publishers,” the supermarket said.

Fiona Macmillan will lead the Centum Publishing imprint in the role of publishing director. Macmillan was publisher for colour and licensing at Random House Children’s Publishing, as well as head of development and acquisition for Random House Children's Screen Entertainment, before joining Centum as publishing director in June. Eddie Rixon, who specialises in consultancy for book and magazine publishers and has been acting as a consultant for Sainsbury's for the past seven years, will become the account director for Centum Publishing and will work alongside Macmillan.

The first titles will be published in September 2015.

Phil Carroll, head of books at Sainsbury’s, said: “Our range of children’s books is an exciting and popular element of our overall in- store offering and this alliance means we can now create even more innovative and exciting own-brand content for children.  I’m looking forward to seeing what this incredibly talented team will achieve in the next three years to truly cement Sainsbury’s as a destination for children’s publishing.”

Macmillan said: “Centum is proud and excited to have been selected to work with Sainsbury’s on its brilliant programme of children’s own-brand books. Centum has developed an enviable relationship with Sainsbury’s as a trusted supplier of children’s books that offer the reader a real point of difference. We look forward to building on our close and collaborative working relationship with the team at Sainsbury’s to create an exclusive range of titles for 2015 and beyond”.

In July, Sainsbury's revealed a plan to publish an "Extraordinary Lives" autobiographical series, working with Constable & Robinson. The supermarket has previously produced a range of own brand cookbook titles, such as "Great British Bake Off" winner Jo Wheatley, which it also worked with C&R on in 2012  and it published eight own-brand preschool books in partnership with Dorling Kindersley in 2011.