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National treasures: Science Museum’s Zuzi Wojciechowska on 2020

The Museum’s senior account manager, brand licensing on new categories and the Flying Scotsman centenary planning.

The museum, heritage and institutions sector has endured its own challenges throughout this year’s lockdowns – including venue closures, key exhibitions put on hold and social distancing measures to incorporate.

All of this means the importance of licensed products is higher than ever. catches up with some key names in the sector to find out their views on the year to date.

Today: Zuzi Wojciechowska, senior account manager, brand licensing, Science Museum.

“Science Museum started off very strong in 2020, with exciting plans for retailer promos and new launches in the categories of stationery and confectionery. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has really changed some of our plans and several launches have been postponed to 2021, as well as any retailer events. Having said that, there is still a lot going on and our brand continues to do well in a very challenging market.

For Flying Scotsman, 2020 was all about planning for the centenary of the locomotive, which takes place in 2023. We have actually had quite a lot of interest already from high profile partners, and luckily as this is a long-term opportunity the pandemic hasn’t affected those conversations.

What came as a big surprise was that our licensed products seemed to perform well in the past months, and our key licensees, such as Clementoni and Hornby have reported strong sales, some even up on last year. Another interesting effect has been the popularity of certain categories that we are now developing with our current partners. These include puzzles, games and craft kits. Hopefully these will be available from the beginning of 2021.

Unfortunately, we did lose a couple of deals and some have been postponed, which was a massive shame. But we have been able to progress with our confectionery deal with Kinnerton for M&S, as well as several renewals for calendars, posters and wall art. Again, homewares have seemingly outperformed expectations.”

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

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