How is H&A redefining the luxury bathing aisle?

Licensed brands are storming the beauty and bathing goods sector, with H&A enjoying new launches with the likes of Spider-Man and Krispy Kreme. Here, Holly Orton, the firm’s licensing and marketing manager, discusses the growth of the business and its plans to target the female demographic.
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What has this year been like for you guys? 

This year has been really exciting for us. We won our first B&LLA award, strengthened our quality and product development teams and boosted our brand portfolio with a focused and strong selection of new and exciting signings.

We’ve also enjoyed retail success with our latest licensed boys’ property, Spider-Man, which has been received exceptionally well and has been strengthened by the recent new film release.

How big is the licensed beauty and bathing sector? Have you witnessed strong growth? 

In the kids’ area of the business we’re seeing growth across the board but particularly in the fragrance category we launched last year. Our hypoallergenic and water-based formulations are giving a fresh angle to the market, combined with magical designs such as our Cinderella Glass Slipper EDT, ensuring we cover the all-important grown up element of having a special littleperfume of their very own.

In addition to this, brand collaborations are an ever-growing trend in the ladies’ market and we love to think outside the box about who we can form a partnership with. We’re launching a range of Krispy Kreme products in September and customers can’t wait to get their hands on our doughnut flavoured Lip Glazes.

What types of brands do you look for when integrating them into beauty and bathing products?

It always works well when there’s an intrinsic link to the core brand values. For example, Ariel works well for us as a Disney Princess due to the water focussed themes and mermaid style guides.

We’re always on the look-out for fun fashion forward brands that catch our eye graphically; if the brand also has a smile-inducing bright and vivacious angle, it’s a win-win for gifting.

 It’s great for us to have brands with such strong female lead characters; the beauty and bathing sector has never looked so feisty.

You are starting to target the female demographic, with introductions including Happy Jackson. Why is this an important demographic for you to target? 

As a young and trend focussed team, the young female is a natural fit for us as a category and we love finding ways to combine fun product formats with seriously indulgent product quality. Our recent Happy Jackson Indulgent Bodycare range in Boots and Sainsbury’s is a fantastic example of how a feel-good eye-catching brand can add so much colour and brightness to a lacklustre luxury bathing market.

Are there any new, upcoming partnerships you can shout about? 

On the ladies’ side of the business, we’re working on a fabulous range of Bouffants and Broken Hearts by Kendra Dandy gifts, due to launch this Christmas. We’re also delighted to announce our new Marvel range for SS18, which will offer a unique take on the brand with cosmetics, accessories and gifts designed for female Marvel fans.

SS18 will also see the launch of our crime-fighting Miraculous range, alongside a personal favourite of mine, the Powerpuff Girls – who will be soaring into stores this Christmas. It’s great for us to have brands with such strong female lead characters; the beauty and bathing sector has never looked so feisty.

Anything else you’d like to add? 

Watch this space for more announcements and brand collaborations coming soon.

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