With the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit approaching in June, License Global is chatting with speakers about the upcoming event, the licensing industry, life after lockdown and more.
We begin our series with Mark Bezodis, licensing managing director, Perry Ellis International, to discuss all things BLI&S, fashion, the supply chain and more.
License Global: Perry Ellis is a leader in the fashion category. What licensed partnerships do you think had the biggest effect on this success and why?
Mark Bezodis: Our kids licensee Brand Machine group is having the biggest impact. We noticed that kids' clothing sales were increasing during lockdown. No surprise, as kids continue to grow whether stores are open or not. As a result, more retailers are looking to increase their kids ranges. You can see M&S doing this across their group, not just in kids. As a result, our brand is appearing in some great retailers it has not been in before. M&S has already launched and there are more to come.
With lockdowns coming to an end in the near future, categories like apparel and cosmetics are expected to have an uptick. How are you preparing for this?
It's not all about the lockdowns. Brexit has also made life very hard. We have had to adjust our supply chains and factories and look at all details of the matrix to ensure we can deliver and stock available.
How do you see the licensing industry evolving over the next few years, and what plans do you have in the pipelines you can share?
The growth of online is going to change the way contracts are created and signed off on. We all know online retailers do not commit to high stock levels. This will create challenges on the GMS side of the industry. Companies like mine with a much lower cost to entry in the online space might look to do more for themselves with older brands before looking to licensing for growth. I think you will see many more DTC, which Nike has already started doing and more collaborations with niche brands.
What are the topics you will be addressing during B&LIS?
Brexit challenges, Eastern Europe and how to crack it [and] online: is it the answer, or part of a blended mix?
Why is B&LIS an important event for the licensing industry this year?
For many, it's an opportunity to pause and listen to the pioneers of the industry. It's the only event that seems to have its finger on the pulse of all things licensing and retail.