Gift Focus - Jan/Feb 2020 (Issue 117)

30 Hot pr operty Catch up with all the latest from the world of licensing Licensed To Charm has teamed up with Sanrio to create a Hello Kitty jewellery collection in time for Hello Kitty’s 45 th birthday! Whether looking for a gift or simply want to deck out in perfect Hello Kitty pieces, the company’s collection is here to help. The adorable charms will leave many feeling good and ready to get the Hello Kitty party started! The new charms are retro-styled and based on the original 1970s Hello Kitty designs, with Kitty in her dungarees along with some of her favourite things. There are seven charms to collect in the first range of the collection; seated Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty face, Kitty’s milk bottle, her bow, her handbag, a pile of apples, and her fish in a bowl. Join in the fun and wear the Hello Kitty collection by buying individual charms to combine with existing jewellery or ready- to-wear combinations on necklaces or bracelets. This collection is a must for all Hello Kitty lovers and a great gift idea for fans of all ages. Hello Kitty made her debut in 1974 and with her cute-as-a-button bow and adorable expression, it’s no wonder she’s loved by the world! Did you know, she isn’t actually a cat? She is a bright, kind- hearted girl named Kitty White, who is five apples tall, loves baking cookies and is close to her twin sister Mimmy! All Licensed to Charm Jewellery are designed and handmade in the UK from 925 Sterling Silver. Ian Downes from Start Licensing shares how Christmas effects the licensing world and products that have made an impact this year As you might expect, Christmas 2019 was an important selling season for licensing and licensed products that were featured heavily in retailer’s top toys for Christmas lists. Again, licensed characters and brands were a big part of the traditional Annuals published during this time. Toys and Annuals are two very visible categories that licensing plays a big part in but this isn’t the complete Christmas story. Beyond this and in the gift category, certain types of product come to prominence. Two good examples are composite gifts in the toiletry’s category plus food and drink gift sets. These categories are often the only time we see certain brands come alive in licensing terms. Both categories are well served by specialist suppliers. In toiletries, companies like Corsair, H & A and Kokomo are experts in putting compelling gift sets together, whilst in food and drink, companies such as Beams, Scoop Designs and Kimm & Miller work with brand owners and retailers to develop gift sets that combine food and drink products with other components like mugs, aprons and glassware. Retailers such as Tesco, Debenhams, Asda, Boots, Superdrug and Sainsbury’s are great supporters of this style of product. Some good examples launched in time for the festive season include a range of mugs and other giftware co-packed with Reese’s confectionery products; tapping into the growing interest in American confectionery brands. Gift sets are another strong category featuring well-known alcohol brands such as Guinness and Stella Artois. A common format is a branded drink glass co-packed with a bottle of beer – some brands do this directly but most work through a licensee. Kellogg’s is a example of a brand prospering in this category with mini cereal packs co-packed with breakfast bowls. This type of product extends to character licensing. In my own experience, we have worked with Beams to dial-up Wallace & Gromit’s cheese credentials to create gift sets for cheese lovers. These have used specially created design assets and include items like cheese boards and Middle Age Spread chutney! In toiletries, one of the most noteworthy new arrivals this year is a range developed around the hit TV show Peaky Blinders . These products are using the series’ popularity but also the trend in terms of male grooming. Companies like Crackerjack, which specialise in lip balms, use Christmas as an opportunity to create gift sets that help lift the overall retail price they command. An example of this is that the company has a Tango lip balm gift set this year that features an assortment of lip balms. This time of year is perfect for giving and in licensing terms it’s also a time for allowing some new brands a go in gifting, so well worth some serious consideration when planning stock in 2020. For more information visit the twitter page @startlicensing Ian Downes Start Licensing