Licensing International looks forward with new state of the industry report

Looking Forward: The State of the Licensing Business explores the trends, opportunities and challenges facing the global licensing industry.

Licensing International has released a 30-page special report – entitled Looking Forward: The State of the Licensing Business – which explores the trends, opportunities and challenges facing the global licensing industry.

Presented in partnership with Miller Kaplan, the report also features the perspectives of 35+ brand licensing executives from across the world.

“The last 18 months has shown the underlying strength of the licensing business and spotlighted companies’ ability to adapt to new circumstances, even as many of the assumptions and underpinnings of normal business practices were upended by the global pandemic,” said Maura Regan, president of Licensing International. “We look forward to supporting and leading a robust licensing industry as it – and the world at large – identifies and seizes opportunities in a reformulated post-Covid world.”

Highlights from the report include licensing executives saying that people at all levels of the licensing food chain are ‘looking inward on brands’, seeking names and suppliers from within their own borders and cultures.

Video games, collectables and trading cards are categories which performed strongly through the pandemic, and this is expected to continue at least through 2021, if not further, particularly as the latter two categories interplay with the nascent category of NFTs.

Physical retailers adapted to non essential retail being limited by ramping up their ecommerce marketing and operations, and by expanding their activities in such modes as click and collect and other such hybrid approaches.

According to Salesforce’s Shopping Index, European e-commerce grew by 47% in 2020 – slightly lower than the 56% growth rate for the world. Emarketer forecasts that 52.1% of China’s retail sales will come from ecommerce in 2021, up from 44.8% a year prior.

“During the pandemic, we saw a shift in customer behaviours and trends,” commented Sarah Jackson, director of licensing at Primark. “Digital streaming platforms grew massively in popularity during lockdown as more and more customers turned to these services for entertainment.

“This has had an impact on traditional entertainment and we have seen a rise in popularity in some of our key partnerships in this area.”

Jay Asher, partner at Brandgenuity, added: “The pandemic re-emphasized the need to be thoughtful and diligent about selecting partners. It’s clear that some companies were vulnerable to poor-sourcing, inventory mismanagement, unforeseen rising material prices and shipping challenges.

“And with no history of what it means to operate during a pandemic, many manufacturers oversold or over-committed and we are now watching the impact of those decisions affect sales and open to buys.”

Looking Forward: The State of the Licensing Industry is free for members of Licensing International and for $495 for non-members. Click here to find out further details.

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