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John Lewis highlights Christmas licensed gift picks

Buyers spotlight Friends, Harry Potter, plus design-led brands such as William Morris and Sara Miller London.

A trio of buyers from John Lewis & Partners have highlighted the key licences which are set to put in a strong performance in the lead up to Christmas.

Speaking to Licensing Source Book at the judging of the product categories for The Licensing Awards, buyers from categories including stationery and seasonal events, plus gifts and candleshop turned the spotlight on brands from across the character and entertainment and design-led spheres.

Caroline Bromilow, buyer’s assistant for stationery and seasonal events (pictured centre), said that she sees further growth potential for Friends: “It is a perfect renaissance brand, with the nostalgic pull for those who watched it first time round and now with so many kids into it too, its appeal spans a wide age range.

“From a design standpoint, the William Morris archive has great potential as the designs have timeless appeal and aesthetic integrity.”

Meanwhile, Rosanna Cousins, assistant buyer for gifts and candleshop (pictured right), noted that everyone has gone “potty” for Harry Potter. “We expect this to continue in a diversity of products,” she commented. “We did really well with Harry Potter Cluedo last year for example.

“It is such a strong brand as it has the nostalgic draw, as well as the engagement with the new fans that are drawn in as a result of them discovering the books and seeing the films.”

From a more design-led point of view, Kay Perkins, buyer’s assistant for gifts and candleshop (pictured left), believes that fashion brands will continue to rise in popularity on merchandise.

“Despite its issues, I think that Ted Baker will see an uplift as the designs appeal to so many people,” Kay said. “Likewise, Kate Spade has someway to go yet as the designs chime with today’s consumers.

“On the lifestyle brand front, Sara Miller London is spot on with its stylish opulent look that continues to evolve.”

Meanwhile, the focus on the environment and sustainability will continue to have an effect on shoppers.

Caroline added: “With the environment and sustainability movement very much a hot topic for consumers, businesses and industries, brands such as Blue Planet will continue to have relevance, hold appeal and interest well beyond the end of this year.”

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

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