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Business in Lockdown: “It’s important that we are all supporting each other”

Danilo’s Dan Grant talks online sales, retail challenges and why the sending of greeting cards has seen a positive uplift during the pandemic.

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: Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo.

“Like most businesses, Danilo has experienced a significant loss of turnover throughout the past three months. With the vast majority of retail stores being closed, there has been almost no demand for and also restricted supply of greeting card stocks generally. We have been fortunate that our key customers are the grocers and so some sales have continued, albeit at a low level during these testing times.

The flip side of this is that our online sales have seen a massive uplift, which indicates that there is still a huge demand for greeting cards from consumers and that they are willing to use online options to source these. We are gradually seeing order levels returning to pre-lockdown levels with supermarkets restocking card fixtures and the high street retailers re-opening more of their stores.

The sending of greeting cards is something that has seen a positive uplift during the pandemic, with many people sending cards to pass on messages of hope, condolence and praise to loved ones, friends or just people who have done something special during the crisis.

For me there are two big challenges ahead of us. Firstly, the return of retailers and consumers to our high streets and shopping malls. It’s difficult to know what the retail landscape will look like going forward with many retailers already struggling to survive before the crisis. The consumers will be key to this and so it will also be interesting to see if consumers are confident enough to return to shopping in bricks and mortar stores and whether they are confident enough to spend money during what is expected to be a fairly bleak few months on the job front.

Secondly, I’m keen to see how licensees will deal with the uncertainty we are experiencing at retail and once the government’s support on furloughing staff finishes. Unfortunately, I think we will see a lot of businesses restructured across the licensing industry, so it’s important that we are all supporting each other where we can at this challenging time.”

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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