The National Gallery talks 2016 successes and what the future holds for new partners

How has 2016 been for The National Gallery in the licensing space?

2016 has been a fantastic year for the National Gallery Company licensing programme building on the success we achieved in 2015 when we started our programme. 

We have appointed 13 new licensees so far this year with at least a couple more expected to close before the year end. Our Greetings Card licensee have secured strong presence in WHSmith, Waterstones, Cards Galore with Christmas cards launched in John Lewis and have now secured presence in international markets including launching in the US early in 2017. 

Our food gifting licensee has secured presence in 300 Boots stores this Christmas with 7 skus, while our stitchcraft licensee capitalised on its finalist position at the BELLA’s in May and are extending its range to reach new international markets from the Far East to the US.

Finally our soft furnishing and wallcovering licensee not only has some fantastic cushions on sale in John Lewis but is producing wall coverings and soft furnishings for many boutique hotels and private residences around the world.

What are your highlights in terms of new partnerships? 

We have signed a 10 year deal with major publishing house, Hachette, who is in development with a range of children’s and adult publishing to launch in 2017.

We have our first apparel deals signed in 2016 with some absolutely fabulous leather jackets lined in silk featuring our paintings with prices at retail up to £4,000 each – these are expected to sell at high end boutiques, Selfridges and Harrods from early in 2017, together with a range of t-shirts retailing at £125.

Also launched this year are fantastic leggings featuring crops of our paintings. 

Our first food and drink licensee, Santa Rita, a Chilean wine company will launch in 450 Sainsbury’s stores in early January and finally we have just finalised our agreement with global artist materials licensee, Royal Talens, launching at Paperworld, Frankfurt in January next year.

Are there any product areas that you would still like to explore?

We are focussed on building our brand in the apparel sector and building on the health and beauty area. We are also determined to build on the successful existing sub-brand, Delicious Art™ with a range of food and drinks gifts to be sold into general retail.

If a licensee is thinking about reaching out, what makes The National Gallery a great brand to work with?

The National Gallery has 2,300 paintings in the Western European tradition dating from the 13th century to early 20th century including some of the greatest paintings in the world.

The National Gallery is the third most visited gallery in the world with over 60 per cent of visitors from overseas. We are very proactive in our licensing programme, working closely with licensees to ensure that all our products are developed to be the most appealing to drive sales at the high street.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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