“Brands encouraging sustainability will come to the fore”

WHSmith’s Pete Selby discusses the key trends to watch in the lead up to Christmas.

Brands which align themselves with helping the environment and encouraging sustainability will be among those coming to the fore in the lead up to Christmas.

This was the view of Pete Selby, head of books at WHSmith, when Licensing Source Book caught up with him at the judging of the product categories for The Licensing Awards.

Pete – pictured above with colleagues Ashlee Cox (centre), buyer of children’s books, and Kimberly Lee, assistant buyer of books – commented: “Brands that align themselves with the importance of reducing plastics, helping the environment and encouraging sustainability will come to the fore in the run up to Christmas and beyond.

“At the moment this charge is being led by National Geographic, but I am sure others will follow, and for the good.”

Pete also said that it was encouraging to see some newer literary brands, such as Oi, making the transition into licensing, although the trend towards heritage will continue.

“Classics such as Paddington, Elmer and Hungry Caterpillar are on for a good end of the year,” he commented. “It will be interesting to see if the Magic of the Faraway Tree spawns some licensing activity.”

Meanwhile, Ashlee and Kimberley believe that Frozen and Toy Story will be among the biggest brands in the run up to Christmas, while Pokémon is also looking strong.

This feature originally appeared in the autumn 2019 edition of Licensing Source Book. Click here to read the full publication.

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