From a humble beginning on a stall at Leicester Market, Ally Mayer has built a small empire based on popular culture: Pyramid Posters.
The firm began in 1992, following Mayer’s dealings with the poster industry through his involvement in record retail. Since 2001, the firm has acquired and merged with four other businesses, culminating in the birth of Pyramid America in 2006.
It now boasts almost 100 employees across numerous departments such as licensing, creative, accounts, UK sales, export sales, warehouse, goods in, export freight, UK freight and college sales.
Export sales manager, Nick Morley, believes it is the first poster company within the sector, which can “truly offer” global product publication and distribution.
“Our rise to dealing on a daily basis with major retailers in the UK and the rest of the world is nothing short of meteoric," he tells Licensing.biz.
The firm currently holds a raft of licences, including key properties such as Playboy, Jack Daniels and Audrey Hepburn among many others.
Titles that have performed quite strongly for the firm this year include Scarface, Ed Hardy and newly launched sports titles such as WWE, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.
“Playboy is a top performer for Pyramid and has been for the last three years. We are creative with the artwork which helps and Playboy is a major fashion brand, selling in many sectors of retail,” adds licensing manager, Mordy Benaiah.
“There are also brands like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, which are classic icons that will sell forever, unlike most movies that are in and out of fashion within the blink of an eye.”
Its client base includes multi-channel retailers such as Zavvi, The Entertainer, W H Smiths and Disney Stores to name a few. Export wise, Pyramid sells to more than 350 customers in some 80 countries with retailers including, but not limited to, Auchen, FNAC, Media Markt, Expo, Carrefour and Spencer’s Gifts.
“As poster sales continue to grow, we ensure that we can match the demand, while staying in touch with the consumer’s current interests,” Morley says.
To complement its brand, Pyramid Posters also markets lines of 3D Lenticulars, Canvas Prints and Calendars, Stickers, Key Chains, and Badges along with Badge Packs, Postcards and Post Card Packs.
“Our customers crave a wide selection of products and the diversity in what we offer has never been more evident than at the moment,” Morley adds.
Ambitious in moving forward, like any business wanting to run at a profit, Pyramid believes the strategy lies in having the right range.
“Licensing has similarities to gambling,” Benaiah says. ”if you pay too much or get your range wrong, it will eventually cost you. In all honesty, not all deals work and sometimes the licensing industry is guilty of taking the money and running.
“However, where Pyramid stands out from our rivals is our ability to get licensors to work on sensible deals, which leads to meaningful, long-term relationships and that’s one of many reasons why we are the best in the business,” he emphasises.
The firm is currently looking to secure different distribution channels to further progress its brand’s presence, with Claire’s Accessories and Sainsbury’s both coming on board so far.
“Without doubt, the last 12 months have been the best to date. We have managed to increase turnover and market share in both the UK and export markets, which considering how tough the domestic market is, can be classed as a remarkable achievement.
“Pyramid America has also exceeded all expectation and continues to achieve successes at meteoric rates,” Morley concludes.