A Dynamic Industry Evolves

Editor's Note The recent announcement by Sears of its exclusive deal with LL Cool J to develop a collection of men's and women's apparel exemplifies that the trend of the mega celebrity brand and licensing deals

April 6, 2018

A Dynamic Industry Evolves

Editor's Note

The recent announcement by Sears of its exclusive deal with LL Cool J to develop a collection of men's and women's apparel exemplifies that the trend of the mega celebrity brand and licensing deals is still going strong.

As licensing executives from more than 80 countries gather at the Javits Center in New York for the last time before the prestigious expo moves to Las Vegas in 2009, the buzz about celebrity licensing and other trends will continue.

This special issue for the annual Licensing International Expo features a wide spectrum of articles that reflect the key factors that will drive growth in brand licensing and merchandising over the next several years.

The cover story, a Quick Reference Guide to the Top 25 Global Retailers, highlights important licensing and merchandising trends among the world's largest retailers reinforcing that exclusivity, proprietary brands, and licensed products are key strategies.

The "Birthday Celebrations" article, which lists more than 30 anniversaries

of some of the world's most recognizable characters and properties—from the 80th anniversary of Mickey Mouse to the 10th anniversary of SpongeBob—translates into a multitude of potential opportunities for retail and licensing executives.

The growth and expansion worldwide of location-based entertainment, multi-use developments or theme parks—whatever term you prefer—is creating significant licensing and merchandising opportunities for entertainment properties in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Hong Kong.

Green, or eco merchandising, is exploding across many categories, and unlike the push from the early-1990s, it seems this will evolve from fad to bona-fide trend offering unique opportunities for licensors, particularly in apparel, but across other categories as exemplified by the creation of products by Office Depot and Toys 'R' Us.

The executive profile, spotlighting Hasbro's new general manager of entertainment and licensing Lisa Licht, identifies how the company is transforming its portfolio of iconic toy brands into an entertainment-driven lifestyle brand strategy. Hasbro's direction underscores the importance of entertainment and international licensing opportunities as well as the value of retail relationships worldwide.

The special section on "Flick Pics," which lists more than 40 major theatrical releases that have been announced for 2009 and beyond, is actually a precursor to many of the licensing deals and promotions being discussed during Licensing International Expo.

And then there's the news and excitement about the relocation of Licensing International Expo to Las Vegas in 2009 at Mandalay Bay, June 2 to 4. The move, according to show management, will not only lower operational costs significantly for exhibitors and attendees, but will also facilitate the growth of attendees worldwide and the expansion of merchandise categories on the show floor.

So when you take a macro view of all the major licensing news and trends, including the move to Las Vegas, it reinforces the evolution of the licensing business from its simple beginnings into a dynamic and robust global retail, brand and merchandising industry.

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