Retailers need to give new brands a chance, say licensors

Retailers which show faith in fresh properties early will be rewarded in the future.
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Retailers should change the way they look at new brands – being more patient and letting them grow organically.

That’s the view of several licensors, who told that while they understand that buyers are under enormous pressure to meet targets, fresh licences are also needed to give the industry a shot in the arm every so often.

“There’s a lack of patience from retailers to allow new properties to grow and find an audience,” stated Hannah Mungo, head of UK licensing at eOne. “If you allow properties to grow then you’ll be rewarded further down the line. 

“This was crucial to the success of Peppa Pig in the early years.”

Mungo added: “There is always consumer demand for something fresh and new; it just needs one retailer to stand up and take a risk. Retailers should dedicate space for new properties and drive sales via promotions and brand enhancement initiatives. Licensors are very keen to get involved in this.”

Rob Corney, MD of Bulldog Licensing (pictured), agreed, saying that cutting back on the number of lines on offer is ultimately a false economy. “A wiser move is to diversify – yes, carry the ‘safe brands’ but fewer SKUs of each, allowing shelf space to open up for divergent properties. This offers consumers something new that might not be available on competitor’s shelves. This approach protects margins and provides interest to consumers.”

However, brands such as Skylanders have been bucking the ‘wait and see’ attitude, said Tom Roe, category manager for toys and games at CPLG. 

“Obviously the brand is already a super hot property, which makes is less of a ‘risk’, but this is still encouraging and it must be hoped that the Skylanders experience will benefit the industry as a whole and help to reinvigorate the retail landscape for new brands,” he told

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