How Peter Rabbit became a global fashion star

Penguin Ventures has been enjoying major success on the global fashion scene with Peter Rabbit, resulting in exponential growth for The World of Peter Rabbit brand.

Apparel collections have performed particularly strongly in the UK, with M&S being a halo partner during the 120th anniversary celebrations last year. The retailer launched a collection of infant apparel, with the range extending into nursery bedding and accessories.

Impactful point of sale, window displays and a dedicated digital campaign featuring lifestyle photography, helped to ensure a sell-out success and the continuation of the partnership into 2023.

“The demand for Peter Rabbit has seen a huge growth in UK apparel lines with collections available across all retail environments, providing fashion items for every member of the family,” commented Zoe Smith, senior category manager UK softlines at Penguin Ventures. “It is important that we are able to maintain the high quality and creative application associated with the Peter Rabbit brand and our fashion partners have shown exceptional care and attention to detail with these beautiful collections.”

In addition, successful tie-up with Cath Kidston paired its distinctive handwriting with the delicate drawings of Beatrix Potter, while Blade & Rose delivered a desirable infant range.

The anniversary and the Year of the Rabbit have also proved compelling hooks for China, with collections launching to mark both occasions from companies including Shanghai Lingdong Trading, NEIWAI, Peacebird Men Fashion Co, Chickabiddy, Hangzhou Zaiyi and Ribo.

In Australia, Target has fast become the home of Peter Rabbit – stocking adult and children’s sleepwear and clothing ranges which include everything from rompers, dresses and trousers to tracksuits and swimwear – while other success stories include Designworks, Peter Alexander and Cotton On Body. Meanwhile, in the US, TJ Maxx and Marshalls both launched collections from Children’s Apparel Network, while Mori’s high-end collaboration secured good coverage across the global fashion press.

Lindsay Pearl, head of international licensing at Penguin Ventures, continued: “We have seen incredible growth for Peter Rabbit across key global territories. Target in Australia is a standout success with the retailer being a year-round destination for the brand and Peter Rabbit being available at all of their 128 stores.”

“Meanwhile our North American apparel business has delivered its best year to date, with Peter Rabbit collections now available at major retailers. This impressive growth places us in a strong position looking ahead and I am excited to see the consumer response to our forthcoming global fashion collections.”

Japan has also seen a sharp rise in Peter Rabbit apparel licensing over the past 12 months with a slightly different consumer profile for the brand. Classic Peter appeals strongly to young adults, providing a wealth of opportunities for fashion retailers.

Melrose designed trademark feminine ranges for Pink House, while Domace launched women’s pyjamas which sold exclusively via the Distribution shopping TV channel.

David Sprei, commercial director at Penguin Ventures, concluded: “It has been a fantastic year for Peter Rabbit, and I am grateful to our team and our global licensing agents for their continued enthusiasm for the brand and their unmatched regional expertise which has delivered significant YOY growth.

“The 120th anniversary celebrations placed us in a superb position delivering opportunities for new partnerships and brand collaborations, elevating Peter on a global scale and securing unprecedented placement across the retail landscape. Peter Rabbit connects with fans around the world and resonates differently from territory to territory, with fashion collections being influenced by culture, tentpole moments and trends which are unique to each market.”

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