The guys on the frontline of the business come under the spotlight today as we profile the Finalists in the Retail Team of the Year category. Show your support for them by joining us at Sway Bar, Holborn on Thursday April 30th.
Tesco has delivered an innovative 12 month licensed programme, taking licensed activities across multiple formats – stores, website and digital. The grocery giant has cross category merchandised (both in store and online) across a number of licences.
Tesco’s customers have had the opportunity to meet a variety of their favourite characters, including The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hello Kitty, The Hungry Caterpillar, WWE wrestlers and more.
The team has delievered a number of these initiatives not only through product merchandising, but also through marketing materials – above and below the line.
Tesco claims that over the past 12 months it has opened the doors to the whole industry – “ensuring any licensor team that has wanted to meet us has been fully welcomed, and continues to be.”
The team has established one licensing team within Tesco – so licensors have one key point of contact – and one person who will aid their navigation around a large and often complex business.
Said the team: “We have step changed the way we land licences on the shop floor – and online – delivering the fun and creativity of the licence, rather than the more plain and simplistic imagery associated with grocery stores."
Claire’s Accessories has long been respected for its licensed ranges, with current offerings for young girls including Frozen, Minions, Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, Disney Princess, Doc McStuffin and more
However, the accessories retailer has been particularly lauded over the past year for its ambition within the music licensing scene launching programmes with The Vamps, Union J and the Katy Perry PRISM range.
The specialist retailer of products for mothers-to-be, babies and children up to the age of eight opened its first store in 1961 in Surrey. Initially the business focused on pushchairs, nursery furniture and maternity clothing, but it subsequently expanded its range to include clothing for children up to the age of five and later up to the age of eight.
True innovators in their field, Mothercare continues to push the boundaries for licensed character product for babies, with ranges spanning Dress Up, Retro and classic Nursery.
The team has been praised for its willingness to try something new, which has resulted in consistent double digit sales growth for the last few seasons.
It’s been an incredibly busy 12 months for value retailer Poundland – not least its flotation on the London Stock Exchange last year.
Proving it’s not just about budget cleaning products, toiletries and giant bars of Toblerone, the company has also won won prestigous accolades in The Grocer awards over the past two years.
The retailer has long offered branded products across its 500 stores, but over the past year or so it has also won plaudits for its exclusive ranges with DIY expert Tommy Walsh and cookery queen Jane Asher.
The Tommy Walsh ‘DIY:time’ range has just been announced with the 200-strong range due to appear in Poundland stores from the end of April, just in time for the May bank holiday.
The move follows a similar deal with Jane Asher for a range of baking equipment covering over 50 lines. The £1-a-piece products, unsurprisingly, have been selling like hot cakes since they launched last year – with the collaboration also a contender for our Deal of the Year award.
The Entertainer's ongoing commitment to the licensing industry is well-documented and between Rebecca Rees and Stuart Grant, the team there co-ordinate not only an impressive opportunity to present licensed products to the market, but also a cohesive programme of support to properly showcase the brand itself.
Grant is recognised by his peers as having a keen eye for an emerging trend and The Entertainer is often one of the first retailers to back many of the hot brands. “The retailer has become a barometer in the boys and girls 4-9 demographic for those new and emerging properties that are likely to make a significant impact when they achieve a wider roll-out,” said one industry exec.
Smyths Toys Superstores
According to NPD data, Smyths Toys increased its market share on licensed merchandise for children by 50 per cent in 2014 - a bigger growth in share than any other retailer.
In the same stats it shows that for licensed merchandise for kids aged up to three their market share grew by 72 per cent and for licensed merchandise for kids aged four to six by a whopping 127 per cent. In both cases growth in market share was bigger than any other retailer.
Smyths supports licences across the board and merchandise them in easy to locate fashion and with strong branding. Said one licensing partner: “They are quick to react and open to all sorts of marketing activity, competitions, social media and in-store events. [They are] easy to work with, easy to get ideas implemented and great partners.”
Over the past year, Argos has concentrated on pulling together a full licensed offer for key activity and hot licences to make it easier for customers to shop the full range.
The key hot property for the summer was Transformers where Argos saw great success with a market leading in-store display, mini cross category catalogue focusing on the film release and a promotional cinema offer.
Argos cemented this further in Autumn/Winter, where the retailer transferred the learnings into its Gift Guide with a number of cross category pages, highlighting key brands such as Frozen, 1D and Disney Princess.
Said the catalogue retail giant: “Our key objective is to make shopping by licence easy for the customer online, in store and in print by offering a one shop solution which will ultimately drive sales of any licence.”
The Licensing.biz People Awards take place on Thursday April 30th at Sway Bar, London.