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Business in Lockdown: “Consumer behaviour trends have been accelerated”

Aykroyd & Sons’ Rob Broadhurst on how the licensing business model needs to adapt to service new consumer behaviour.

All this week, will be catching up with a selection of licensees across key categories to ask them how their businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 and what conversations the industry needs to be having to aid recovery.

Today: Rob Broadhurst, sales and licensing, Aykroyd & Sons.

“As most businesses will have found, there was a real challenge in trying to balance short and longer term decision making. The pausing of retail and the supply chain obviously caused an awful lot of issues in the immediacy, particularly around cash flow, staffing levels, etc. However, we also had to have an eye on development for AW20 and beyond – the government support policies were particularly helpful in this regard, particularly the furlough scheme.

One of the positives that we have found during all this, is the communication with our key partners, both retail and licensor, has been pretty much constant throughout and importantly, it has been bilateral. Liaising with retail in the early days to manage our way through what was an extremely complicated situation, but throughout this the conversations around AW20 and SS21 development continued, which meant we were always able to look forward rather than being mired in the day to day.

Quite a few consumer behaviour trends have been accelerated by the lockdown, particularly around online/mobile purchasing and digital consumption of media.

I think the important conversations now need to be around how we bring the business model – incorporating both the product supply chain and the licensing model – up to speed to be able to service this properly.”

This feature originally appeared in the summer 2020 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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