Retail more focused on licensed lines than ever

Demise of Woolworths has lead to other High Street and online players upping their game, say key execs.
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The closure of Woolworths has lead to the UK licensing industry forging closer links with new retailers, actually widening the market for branded merchandise.

A selection of key executives told Licensing.biz that, while losing Woolworths was undoubtedly a blow – with the toy and apparel sectors suffering the most – it galvanised other retailers into developing more licensing activity.

“Tesco, Argos, Toys R Us, George at Asda, Wilkinsons and Next have definitely stepped up their licensed product offering,” said Paul Bufton, general manager of Warner Bros Consumer Products UK. “The closure of Woolworths means that we have an available budget that we are using across multiple retailers, which hasn’t always been possible in the past as Woolworths tended to be the home of our gold and silver status retail promotions.”

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