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Winds of Change

Winds of Change
]> Out with the old and in with the new, including my first appearance on this page as executive editor and License! Global's fresh new logo and design


Out with the old and in with the new, including my first appearance on this page as executive editor and License! Global's fresh new logo and design. Keep an eye out for other—even bigger—changes in our upcoming February issue. In the meantime, take a look at our "Best of 2006" feature, the second year in a row License! editors put their industry know-how and instincts to use in choosing the top performers in a variety of categories. Our "Dawn of Digital" feature examines ever-changing licensing strategies as companies seek to successfully implement a multiplatform approach that appeals to all ages.

Of course, some things never change. Retailers continued their intense consumer courtship over the holidays, many opening their doors in the wee hours of the morning Black Friday or even serving customers for a few hours late Thanksgiving evening. I have to admit my husband was one of thousands up at the crack of dawn and waiting on line for Circuit City's doors to open at 5 a.m. as he hoped to score a $199 GPS for his car (directionally challenged myself, I wished him well but was unwilling to give up my warm bed to accompany him on this particular field trip). Doomed to disappointment (the store stocked only a few of the "sale" items that sold out in minutes but had plenty of higher-priced merchandise), he hit Staples and Best Buy before finally lucking out at Target, where he found a GPS for $100 more than he wanted to spend. Did these tactics work for retailers? Well, U.S. retail sales rose 3.4 percent in the two days after Thanksgiving, according to ShopperTrak RCT Corp. At press time, New York-based International Council of Shopping Centers forecast a 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent December comparable sales gain.

As for 2007, we asked visitors to tell us what growth categories they see for this year. Mobile was the clear winner, chosen by 30 percent, followed by toys (26 percent), pet products (19 percent), and home décor (15 percent). Next month's Website question: What do you believe is the most effective method of marketing to teens and 'tweens? Visit and tell us your thoughts.

Coming up next month: Total Toy Focus, Halloween Open-to-Buy Forecast, MIP Review, a look at music's impact on consumer products, and much more. Comments, suggestions, exclusive article pitches? Please contact me at 212.951.6695 or via e-mail: [email protected]

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