“We want to be the leading UK licensee in the boys, girls toddler and older daywear categories,” stated Daniel Wilkins, MD of TV Mania UK, when asked where he would like to see the company in five years time.
He’s nothing if not ambitious, but the firm is certainly off to a strong start. TV Mania is a major player in Europe, manufacturing and distributing branded and TV merchandise apparel, underwear, nightwear, accessories, swimwear and hosiery. In 2007, it acquired TMI Solutions and moved into the UK market, with this division focusing on boys toddler and older licensed apparel.
In 2009 the business added girlswear and accessories and the UK firm now boasts 30 licences and works with ten licensors. These include The Licensing Company, BBC, Warner Brothers, Hit Entertainment, Classic Media, Lego, Rocket Licensing, Disney-Marvel and Metrostar.
It works with a wide range of retailers, from Marks & Spencer, Next, Bhs and Debenhams, through to Play.com, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, George at Asda, Matalan and Peacocks.
Across in Europe, the company has 52 licences from 30 licensors, with the biggest being Hello Kitty, Spider-man, Ben 10, WWE, Bob the Builder, Bakugan, Disney, Star Wars and Smurfs.
Back in the UK and top selling designs include Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Thomas the Tank Engine, Top Gear, Lego Star Wars and Lego Batman, with recent new additions to the portfolio being Dear Zoo from Metrostar, Airfix from Rocket and Captain America and Thor from the Disney-Marvel stable.
Wilkins highlights all three for success in 2011, as well as Paramount’s Rango and The Smurfs. It is also looking to build on the strong performance of its Lego brands – Batman, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Star Wars – and Thomas the Tank Engine.
“We like variety and look offer across our brand portfolio TV, movies and evergreen properties,” Wilkins says. “We look to stand out from our competitors in a number of ways. Firstly, we support our brands and retailers with speed to market with affordable luxury printed apparel; we have design excellence; and a competitive pricing architecture with a wide variety of sources including from India, China, Bangladesh and the UK.
“We’re also a pan European licensee and have a great sense of passion for our licensed brands and full retail distribution.”
The challenge for Wilkins and his team now is to manage the growth levels of the business, while making sure he picks the right licences, in order to reach his five-year goal.
“We’re proud of the service we offer to our licensors and retail partners,” he concludes. “By the end of 2010, we hope to see company growth in operating profit and sales turnover, and for the number of pieces manufactured to be like for like to our previous financial year.”