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Retailers in the UK plan to expand licensed offering

A survey at the recent Licensing for Retail Day has highlights retailers has provided insight into the role licensing plays in retail business strategies.

A survey of 60 UK retailers (working across toys and entertainment, apparel, gifts and accessories, home goods and sports) conducted at the Licensing for Retail Day (run by Brand Licensing Europe and Licensing International) has provided fresh insight into the role licensing plays in their business strategies.  

The survey, undertaken by UK retailers working across toys and entertainment, apparel, gifts and accessories, home and sports, revealed that retailers are increasingly aware of the benefits of operating a brand licensing programme, specifically, the opportunities it presents to:  

Diversify categories (33%)  

Acquire new customers (26%)  

Increase customer loyalty (19%) 

Branded/licensed product represents the following percentage of the respondents’ sales currently: 

Over 50 per cent of revenue – 28% of retailers surveyed. 

24-50 per cent or of revenue – 21% of retailers surveyed. 

Up to 25 per cent of revenue – 42% of retailers surveyed. 


Licensed product inventories to rise  

Furthermore, 80% of those retailers confirmed the number of branded/licensed products they sale will increase (52 percent) or stay the same (28 percent) this year. Only 3 per cent were forecasting a decline.  


Speed and complexities remain barriers 

Barriers preventing even higher levels of brand/licensing product penetration were highlighted, with retailers frustrated by complexities and slow approvals and ‘to shelf’ timelines.  


Asked, ‘What are the biggest barriers to working with brands?’, the responses were:  

Approvals are too time consuming (26%) 

The contractual side is too confusing (20%) 

We want to work with different brands to our competitors (14%) 

Takes too long to get products to shelf (10%) 


2024 brands causing retailer excitement  

Finally, the survey found that the brands retailers are most excited about working with in 2024 skew heavily towards toys, pre-school and kidult with Hello Kitty, Bluey, Furby, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Paddington, Squishmallows, Transformers, Lego and Poppy’s Playtime all being mentioned.  

“It’s so pleasing to see more and more UK retailers understanding and enjoying the benefits of brand licensing as they increase the number of brands and categories they work with to design and deliver products that consumer (new and old) love,” said Brand Licensing Europe’s head of retail Laura Freedman-Dagg.

“We have worked hard to make it as easy as possible for retailers to take the first steps on their brand licensing journey, by providing them with insight, education and contacts through Licensing for Retail Day and our Retail Mentoring Programme (both free to attend for qualifying retailers) and the opportunity to meet face to face at our events, including Brand Licensing Europe in London this September.” 

Brand Licensing Europe – 24-26 September 2024, ExCeL, London 

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