On Tuesday of this week (July 11) came news of four separate retail-exclusive product lines (three introductions and one expansion) that collectively illustrate, in microcosm, the breadth of this still-vibrant business model. Each of the four announcements covers a different retail channel, property type, and product sector:
- Toca Boca is introducing its first-ever consumer products line as an exclusive at Target, covering multiple product categories for boys and girls. Licensees including FABNY and Random House Children’s Books, among others, supply the products, which are inspired by the Toca Life brand. (Target has discontinued a number of its long-term private labels and is currently rolling out replacements.)
- Athleisure company Lululemon is collaborating with Pottery Barn and its PBTeen division for a 40-piece home décor collection tied to the apparel maker’s youthful Iviva brand. The line is described as teen bedroom basics in blue and teal, with pink, purple, and orange accents.
- Jinx, best known as an apparel licensee for Minecraft and other interactive gaming and e-sports properties, is debuting its Jinx brand of gamer-focused lifestyle apparel and accessories as a Hot Topic exclusive in August. The company had introduced the collection in November through its own e-commerce site.
- Sequential Brands Group expanded its long-running exclusive relationship with Staples for Martha Stewart office supplies. Organization and storage items in a range designs and colors, augmenting the assortment already on shelf, appeared in stores last month, following the launch of new storage solution and travel accessories lines earlier in 2017.
These agreements cut across all forms of retail exclusives: product launch initiatives, collaborations, and good old-fashion long-term product lines, as well as encompassing both direct-to-retail business models and licensee-supported exclusive distribution deals.
A heads-up: Raugust Communications’ e-newsletter for this month comes out next Tuesday (July 18). The Licensing Trend of the Month is about the role of retro licensing programs, not just in light of design and marketing considerations, but in terms of IP protection. Meanwhile, the research-focused Datapoint item for this issue offers insights on the relative weight within the U.S. toy industry of toy company-owned IP, third-party licensed properties, and toy-only products. Subscribe here if you do not already receive this free publication.