Vogue International

We find out what's coming up from the licensed housewares specialist.
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With a fairly unique product offering, Vogue International has usually managed to sign deals with the properties it has gone after. A fact that can be seen clearly when looking at the current portfolio, which reads like a who’s who of top children’s properties.

Under these brands, Vogue offers a range of children’s gifts including pop-up room storage, lunch bags, photo frames, melamine sets, lamps and drinking cups.

The firm began life in 1993, set up by Chris Thompson, a sales professional, who was joined six months later by William Magill, who brought an expertise in manufacturing to the table.

Since its formation, the company has increased business steadily year-on-year, moving from its original location in Thatcham, Hampshire when it was outgrown in 1998, to develop the Vogue Business Park at Berinsfield, where it currently employs 30 people.

The first licence signed by the company was Power Rangers and since that, there has been a range of successful signings. Thompson comments: “It is impossible to single one out, but the entire Disney range has sold extremely well, which will come as no surprise to anybody.”

With licensed goods making 85 per cent of its portfolio, the firm is constantly striving to keep up to date with the latest properties and is looking to sign new deals with up and coming brands for children. Thompson unveils: “The most exciting recent licence acquisition is the Japanese sensation, Bakugan.”

Another key to success for the firm is to keep the product offering in the public eye. To help out with this, Vogue retains the services of a specialist PR agency, to help ensure editorial coverage in trade publications where possible. The firm also runs competitions and promotions in general consumer publications and the dedicated children’s titles.

In terms of its Fisher-Price deal, Vogue maximises its marketing spend with a combination of advertising, promotions, competitions and PR in trade and consumer nursery titles.

Along with the majority of UK businesses, trading has become tough over the past 12 months for Vogue. Thompson continues: “We have tried to counter this with a new range of low cost ‘credit crunch’ lines including lunch bags and lenticular tumblers.” 

The lunch bags have a suggested retail price of £1.99, whilst the tumblers retail for around £1.

Thompson again: “We have experienced very strong growth for our value products and with the current economic climate it makes sense to focus on that end of the market, which we are confident we can grow aggressively.”

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