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Marks & Spencer Posts £1Billion Profit, Signs Patricia Field DealMarks & Spencer has hit the £1 billion profit level for the 52 weeks to March 29, but the results were mitigated by slightly negative like-for-likes. Chief executive

April 6, 2018

19 Min Read

Marks & Spencer Posts £1Billion Profit, Signs Patricia Field Deal
Marks & Spencer has hit the £1 billion profit level for the 52 weeks to March 29, but the results were mitigated by slightly negative like-for-likes.

Chief executive Sir Stuart Rose says sales were up 5.1 percent to £9 billion for the period, up 4.2 percent in the UK and 16.8 per cent internationally, and profit was £1.1 billion. Like-for-like sales, however, dropped by 0.05 percent. Both clothing and food market shares rose, but M&S will not be paying its staff bonus for the year.

Rose says, “ We believe there is a real opportunity to expand our business in the UK and abroad, to stretch the brand in new product areas and to develop our direct [online] business.”

He said that market conditions would be difficult for the foreseeable future. Trading in the first seven weeks of the current financial year had been mixed, Rose says, with April “difficult”. Although trading in May had improved, he remains cautious.

Additionally, Marks & Spencer has signed a deal with United States style guru Patricia Field, who famously styles “Sex and The City” and has her own store in New York. The deal is for a one-off capsule collection to launch in stores in October and is the first time Marks & Spencer has made such a one-off deal. The store group will also take the collection to some of its international stores, another first for the retailer.

Sanrio to Create New Global Consumer Products Division
Sanrio Inc., the international product company best known for Hello Kitty, has announced the formation of its Global Consumer Products division. This newly created business unit will build upon Sanrio's success with dynamic new creative and a global brand strategy that capitalizes on Sanrio's international popularity and distribution.

To head up this new division, Sanrio has named Janet Han Hsu as president of global consumer products. Ms. Hsu will be based in Sanrio's corporate headquarters in Los Angeles. In a related announcement, Mr. Roberto Lanzi has been named president of global consumer products for the EMEA market. Ms. Hsu will work together with Mr. Lanzi to form strategic global alliances, expand the existing international business, and establish a consistency in brand messaging worldwide.

In her role as president, Ms. Hsu will be responsible for the development and expansion of the Global Consumer Products division with a focus on licensing, new products and product categories, as well as exclusive co- branded partnership programs. She will develop Sanrio's emerging characters for licensing, product development and innovative retail partnerships. One of Ms. Hsu's main initiatives will be to harness the power of the brand's equity and continuously evolve Hello Kitty and all of Sanrio's popular characters creatively across multiple channels and platforms.

‘License! Global’ Names New Executive Editor
Bernadette Casey has been named executive editor of License! Global, The Source for Retail and Licensing Intelligence, published by Advanstar Communications. The announcement was made by Tony Lisanti, global editorial director for License! Global.

Casey will be responsible for the day-to-day editorial and production of License! Global magazine, as well as various digital products, including the E-Newsletter.

“With her extensive experience in business journalism and her knowledge of retail, Casey will contribute extensively to the growth and leadership of License! Global,” Lisanti says.

For the past two years, Casey was executive editor of Drug Store News. Previously, she served as executive editor of Retailing Today. She has written extensively about retail and consumer trends in several categories, including electronics, home, apparel, health and beauty, and healthcare.

Casey holds a B.S. degree in Communications from St. John’s University, Queens, N.Y.

Contact: 212.951.6695; [email protected]

IMG Kicks Off With Squadra Azzurra Football Deal
The Italian National Soccer Federation has signed a multi-year strategic partnership with IMG to develop a worldwide consumer products licensing program for the “Squadra Azzurra”—the Italian national soccer team, winner of four FIFA World Cups and current defending champions of the FIFA title.

“This is an important step in the commercial development of the Italian national soccer team as a real global sports brand,” says Giancarlo Abete, president of the Italian Federation. “We are one of the most titled and successful teams in world soccer and we believe it fundamental to consolidate links with our worldwide fan base and satisfy market demand through a specific brand licensing program that represents our values and our unique football heritage.”

“The Azzurri are not only the defending FIFA World Cup Champions, but one of the most successful teams in football history, and consequently one of the absolute marquee properties in world soccer,” says Bruno Maglione, IMG executive vice president and co-managing director of IMG Worldwide Licensing. “Representing the world’s best team in the world’s biggest sport is obviously something we find very appealing and we look forward to a very successful partnership with the Italian Federation."

Under the multi-year agreement, IMG will partner with the Italian Federation to license and market the Italian national team across a wide variety of product, publishing and promotional categories.

Stylist Rachel Zoe Launches Brand with The Beanstalk Group
Rachel Zoe, an acclaimed Hollywood stylist and fashion industry insider credited with kick-starting many of today’s fashion and style trends, has partnered with licensing agency and brand consultancy The Beanstalk Group to develop a full range of fashion accessories, including handbags, jewelry, and watches.

Zoe, the star of a forthcoming docu-drama Bravo television series, “The Rachel Zoe Project” (working title), has styled many of the most photographed women in the world, including Jennifer Garner, Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway and Eva Mendes. In 2007, Zoe released her first style book, Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty, and Everything Glamour, and now plans to translate and execute her vision into a fashion-forward but accessible brand that appeals to the mainstream.

 “Rachel’s incredible business acumen combined with her unparalleled sense of style has catapulted her to the top of the fashion food chain,” says Michael Stone, president and CEO of The Beanstalk Group. “And it is these very same qualities that make her the perfect visionary force to develop and design a successful fashion brand. We are looking forward to translating her sophisticated and trend-setting personality and style into an exciting and successful product line.”

The Rachel Zoe collection will be targeted to women 18 to 30 and beyond and is expected to hit stores beginning in 2009.

AT New Media signs deal with Granada Ventures
Granada Ventures has signed specialist interactive games and content licensing agency AT New Media as the in-house new media licensing consultancy for ITV’s merchandise, licensing and publishing division.

AT Brands, headed up by Simon Kay, is developing opportunities for interactive games publishers and developers across the ITV/Granada Ventures stable of brands.
Mel Beer, head of licensing at Granada Ventures, says: “AT New Media are experts in the field and I'm delighted to have secured them as consultants to fully exploit the GV portfolio in the new media gaming arena. While our ITV and 3rd party game shows are the obvious opportunities, AT New Media are working across our vast portfolio to ensure all opportunities are maximised from children’s to drama. ITV’s recent acquisition of 12 Yard also increases our compelling game show offering with the addition of Eggheads, In It to Win It, Colour of Money and Who Dares Wins/The Rich List.”

Lindberg Licensing Named Agent for ‘Martha Speaks’
Lindberg Licensing & Promotions Inc. has been named the exclusive licensing agency for TV series “Martha Speaks” by WGBH Boston and Studio B Productions Inc., a subsidiary of DHX Media Ltd.

Lindberg Licensing & Promotions will develop the Martha Speaks licensing and merchandising program in North America, targeting kids 4 to 8 years old, across key categories including: toys, interactive, apparel, accessories, and more. The initial rollout of the merchandise program is anticipated for Fall 2009. In addition, Lindberg Licensing & Promotions will bring “Martha Speaks” to the 2008 Licensing International Expo, taking place June 10-12 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

A Studio B and WGBH Boston co-production, Martha Speaks will launch on Sept. 1, 2008 in the United States and Canada on PBS Kids, TV Ontario, Knowledge Network, and SCN. Based on the best-selling books by Susan Meddaugh, the series follows the adventures of Martha, a loveable dog whose appetite for alphabet soup gives her the gift of human speech.

Ignition Signs New Properties
UK-based Ignition Licensing has signed to represent The Bogies and Pet’s Poet Club. The Bogies is a collectable boys’ brand that is aimed at 6 years plus to students. Its Web site includes competitions, news, special deals, games, comics and downloads.

The evolution of the brand and increased interest in licensing led to the appointment of Ignition Licensing. Licensing manager Maggy Harris says: “The Bogies is such fun and the reaction of boys to its collectibility and play pattern is brilliant. The combination of classic parody and humor, plus boys’ eternal fascination with all things “gross” makes me believe that this property has huge potential. The great reaction we had at the spring shows supports this and we’re working hard to bring on board some great partners for 2009”

Ignition has also been signed to Pet Poet’s Club, Lavish Production’s tongue-in-cheek pet property. Launched in 2006, Pet Poet’s Club is also an internet driven property.

Expressing emotion and sentiments through the eyes of pets and delivered via poetry, Pet Poet’s Club mixes cute animals, colourful graphics and of humour.

Ignition’s Juicy Lucy has signed a number of new deals. Among them are Zeon for accessories and gifts; Portmeirion Potteries for mugs, mug and coaster packaged sets and candle votives; Jarrold Calendars; Ravette Publishing for gift books; Hazlewood Cakes (Greencore); Is it Art? wallet messages; and Sharpcards for mobile media.

Marks & Spencer launched the first kidswear this month including underwear, pyjamas. More babywear and kidswear will be added over the summer season.

Internationally, Juicy Lucy has signed Papillon in Benelux for social stationery and 2009 dated product. Wild Pumpkin has been appointed as Juicy licensing agent in Australia. A Juicy Lucy website was launched in April.

Disney Debuts High-End Signature Stationery Collection
The Walt Disney Signature collection, Disney's first upscale, non-character, adult lifestyle brand, has expanded with the launch of luxury stationery products unveiled last week at the National Stationery Show in New York City. A collaborative effort between Disney Stationery—part of Disney Consumer Products—and industry leaders Crane & Co., Eccolo and Monteverde, the collection features exquisite pens handcrafted by Italian artisans, and fine paper products, including note cards and leather bound journals.

"The Walt Disney Signature stationery collection will appeal to anyone who seeks unique and elegant products that are beautifully crafted," said Mark Coleman, senior vice president, global stationery, Disney Consumer Products. "Art enthusiasts, Disney film aficionados, executives, pen collectors, and anyone who has an affinity for Disney will appreciate the new collection."

The Walt Disney Signature stationery collection celebrates Walt and his creativity with three distinct and elegant lines including: The Executive Collection, Sleeping Beauty Collection, and Fantasia Collection. In order to authentically interpret Walt Disney's brand essence, designers from Crane & Co., Eccolo and Monteverde were provided special access to artwork from the Disney archives.

The new Walt Disney Signature stationery collection will be available at fine retailers and specialty boutiques in fall 2008.

Cartoon Network Signs VMC for ‘Ben 10’
Cartoon Network has signed VMC as its accessory licensee in the UK. It joins Blues Clothing, Brand International Group, Roy Lowe and Sons, Aykroyd, TDP, and Bacup Shoe Company as apparel licensees for the boys’ brand.

Ben 10 is Cartoon Network’s 30 minute animated TV show following the adventures of Ben Tennyson. The first of four series of the show was broadcast on Cartoon Network in the UK in March 2006 and went on to GMTV in September 2007.

There are now 30 Ben 10 licensees in the UK ensuring there is something for everyone!

EM.Entertainment Signs Up With Nintendo For Vicky the Viking
EM.Entertainment has signed a deal to bring Vicky the Viking to the Nintendo DS portable video game console to Intenium in Germany. The license covers several editions for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as the UK, France and Benelux.

The first game release is scheduled to hit stores in 2009, in time for the cinema premiere of the live-action feature film version of Vicky the Viking.

Shaun the Sheep Makes Watery Appeal
Aardman has signed a deal with the UK’s newest natural mineral water company, Iceni Waters, to help promote the benefits of drinking mineral water with Shaun the Sheep 330ml sports cap bottles, launching this month.

Sean Clarke, Aardman’s head of marketing and licensing says: “We have created a number of funny and quirky water based images of Shaun the Sheep. This combined with his broad appeal, will I’m sure be the formula for hugely successful bottled water.”

Danfood distributes Shaun the Sheep Iceni Water in the UK.

Lucky Cookie Takes It Easy Peazy
Fun Crew’s girls’ property Lucky Cookie is to be featured in a new full-page comic strip for Easy Peazy magazine.

Launched by Signature Publishing in autumn 2007, Easy Peazy is aimed at creative girls aged five to nine. Each issue comprises craft projects, cooking, drawing, painting and fashion, as well as puzzles, stories, posters and competitions.

Easy Peazy editor Amanda Clifford, says: “Lucky Cookie embodies all of the Easy Peazy elements – she’s fun, funky, creative, bright, kind and magical. Her stories and image have captivated our readers and we’re delighted that she has become a regular character in the magazine.”

Fun Crew director Angela Harrison adds: “Lucky Cookie is a fresh design-led brand with fantastic narrative potential. It's wonderful to be developing stories about her adventures in a sunshine world with her fortune-telling feline, Mojo. There will also be summery-feel Lucky Cookie activities to entertain the readers.”

iota Purchased by C.R. Gibson
Design company iota and C.R. Gibson LLC announced that iota’s business and assets have been acquired by C.R. Gibson, an affiliated company of CSS Industries Inc. A leading designer of stationery essentials such as notecards, gift wrap and notebooks, iota will continue to conduct business under its own brand name and will be able to devote increased resources to disseminating the signature iota patterns on more formats and more products in the marketplace. In addition, iota will continue its successful surface design and licensing program.

Chief designer and company head Kelly Alford, who founded iota in 2003, will take on her new role as vice president of design (iota). iota’s marketing and design offices will remain in Colorado. No changes to iota’s existing sales force and distributors are currently expected.
Comment Gains Mobile Rights for Hello Kitty
Comment Retail Services sign with Sanrio, owner of the Hello Kitty brand, to become the exclusive license holder within the UK and Ireland for Hello Kitty branded mobile phones, MP3 players, MP4 players and specific other electronic goods and services. These will include mobile phone handsets and other electrical hardware as well as accessories and content.

Roberto Lanzi, president of consumer products (EMEA) at Sanrio says: ““The Hello Kitty brand is a valuable asset and we wanted to partner with a company that is focused on delivering the best customer experience to the millions of fans of Hello Kitty. Comment’s vast experience in the mobile market along with its commitment to delivering first rate service and solutions makes it the ideal partner to bring Hello Kitty to mobile.”

Caroline Preston, sales director of Comment Retail Service says: “Comment’s experience in the market along with its ability to work with different operators, manufacturers and retailers has secured this fantastic opportunity. We are now looking forward to seeing Hello Kitty in stores.”

Milkshake! Goes ‘Live’
The UK broadcaster Five’s pre-school strand, Milkshake! has joined forces with Dan Colman for Milkshake! Live My First Concert—a sing-along show featuring Milkshake! presenters and pre-school characters in a national tour of 15 regional theatres.

Characters participating include Rupert Bear, Peppa Pig, Little Princess, Fifi and the Flowertots, The Mr Men Show and Noddy.
The show runs from June 28 to August 30 across the UK

Nick Wilson, director of children’s programmes at Five said: “This new tour is the latest exciting extension of Milkshake! Seeing the lively mix of Milkshake! presenters with a selection of the most popular characters from our programmes in this sing and dance spectacular is a great way to extend Milkshake’s brand values and to reach out to our audience.”

Lola & Virginia Reach Out for Imira
Spain’s Imira Entertainment has scored additional broadcast, home entertainment, licensing and interactive deals in territories worldwide for “Lola & Virginia.”

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