A handful of deals announced this fall have put licensed properties into new and unexpected places:
- Kathy Ireland licensed Gander Group for a line of products sold exclusively through casinos in North America. The merchandise includes a range of home goods (indoor and outdoor), including kitchen accessories under the Chef Andre Sunday Dinner Presented by Kathy Ireland brand, as well as travel accessories.
- Luxury home goods and fashion label Laura Ashley debuted in Walgreens stores with a collection of Gifts for Her produced by licensee Merch Source. The female-skewing merchandise assortment encompasses pen sets, mini travel diffusers, and drinking accessories including oversized wine and champagne glasses, automatic wine openers, and diamond ice molds.
- The plus size women’s fashion brand Eloquii is now in Paper Source stationery stores with a line of eight holiday cards and four gift items done through a DTR deal with the 128-store paper goods retail chain. Eloquii is known for its distinctive prints, while Paper Source has been increasingly focusing on collaborations with fashion and art world brands.
- Cartoon Network’s Rick and Morty appeared in Foot Locker and Footaction retail stores through a collaboration with Diadora for two shoe styles, one featuring each lead character. The initiative was part of Foot Locker’s Week of Greatness, a holiday promotion and celebration of sneakerheads that is in its seventh iteration in 2018. Other collaborations featured in this year’s event included Champion x Timberland and Puma x Transformers.
Taken collectively, these examples underscore the notion that licensors and licensees are increasingly looking to set themselves apart, catch the eyes of new fans, and fill gaps in their distribution strategy by placing their licensed products and properties in retail environments where they otherwise would not be found.