Since the sale of the album of the Soccer World Cup began in Qatar 2022, Panini Chile -of the Panini group, based in Modena, Italy, world manufacturer of the album of the planetary football event- knew that their expectations would fall short. The Italian firm expected moderate growth compared to the last edition of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but at the close of this new edition the initial estimates were multiplied by four, according to the company.
“What we had planned was 20% more than what was sold during the previous World Cup, but that was consumed in three weeks and from there the demand only grew,” says the general manager of Panini Chile, Raúl Vallecillo, in relation to the album. which, depending on the cost of each envelope and the number of sheets needed to complete it, required spending more than $100,000 on average.
According to the company, the success of the album was explained by the fact that both men and women of different age groups joined in collecting the pictures of the teams and players that participated in the cup that ended a few days ago. In addition, the World Cup album was an important part of the input that was used to create content on social networks during this month, which pushed its demand, the company highlighted.
“There were so many people who connected with this World Cup, that it would not have been a much larger number with Chile (present),” says Vallecillo in relation to the high demand and the fact that the national team did not qualify for this version. of the event.
The executive also highlights that the local market was located within the areas with the most sales worldwide, in relation to the number of people living in the country.
On what was the formula to avoid the problem of shortage of World Cup sheets that affected Argentina and that caused the trans-Andean government itself to intervene, he explains that together with Brazil and Mexico they shared the same album format and thus were able to supply themselves with the production of envelopes managed by the South American giant.
“If we had had a differentiated album, we would have suffered a bigger problem with the supply. By having the same album as Brazil, the volumes were more constant,” says Vallecillo, who points out that the countries had a different format as they were considered tertiary markets for the firm and to avoid smuggling between neighboring nations.
Other advantages that explain the marketing success of the albums in Chile were the sales channels that were opened beyond the traditional ones. Delivery applications, bookstores, supermarkets and kiosks, among others, were part of the distributors of laminated envelopes.
“Everything they could sell in a year with the World Cup, they sold it in a week. Each week was a year gained in terms of sales”, details Vallencillo.
However, Panini’s team of 12 people in Chile, without counting the other companies that provide the necessary services for their business, faced certain alerts due to the safety of the product’s distribution, but they did not go any further. The firm only highlighted an armed robbery in a store in the Providencia commune, where the objective was exclusively World Cup products.
Now Panini Chile will end the marketing of the World Cup products at the end of January, waiting for the last people left to complete the album.
Panini arrived in Chile nearly 20 years ago and after Salo’s bankruptcy became the main player in the sale of picture albums, which in the company’s opinion is a business that enjoys good health, regardless of the good performance of the World.
“It hasn’t been lost over the years. During the pandemic it was one of the periods where we sold the most albums, ”says Vallencillo.
The company supports its point by ensuring that it manages to cover the interest of various groups by having an offer of products related to anime, movies for mass audiences, and superheroes, among others. Naruto, One Piece, Marvel, Hello Kitty and the Disney franchises are part of the firm’s catalogue, which next year will expand to the Women’s Soccer World Cup, local soccer and new movie releases.
However, between the eight and nine thousand points of sale that Panini has in Chile, the executive affirms that the traditional kiosk is going to disappear as a sales center, since they do not exist in the new neighborhoods and the kiosks that withdraw do not count with a replacement, according to the monitoring of the company.
On the other hand, Panini also diversified into the sale of comics and manga, where they say they are growing every year in new title offers and in products more linked to collectors, such as hardcover texts or special editions.
“It will not be the sales of the World Cup, but it will not be a year (2023) in which we are not going to sell, on the contrary. The commitment to have something more differentiated year after year allows growth to be renewed (…) Chile has been growing each time beyond what the region has been and has been more strategic in the diversification of products”, they highlight from Panini.
Another of the leaps that the firm seeks to make is the offer of paid digital content, but without neglecting the traditional format: “They are not exclusive, they are complementary. Panini must begin to grow in the virtual area and not only in areas related to albums. You have to innovate and it is not that one format kills the other”, Vallencillo specifies.
And the executive, although he is aware that next year will be difficult given the economic context that is set in motion for the world and for Chile, he is confident that people will continue to purchase the products they offer, based on their intended consumption. to entertainment.