The Spring 2022 issue of the Licensing Source Book is now available to read online.
It may be a new year, but at times it feels like we’re still trapped in Groundhog Day and it’s March 2020. At time of writing, two major toy trade shows – Spielwarenmesse and New York Toy Fair – had just cancelled within days of each other due to the continuing effects of the pandemic, while a number of other industry events had been pushed back until later in the year. London Toy Fair and Spring Fair, however, are still currently firmly in the events calendar.
Speaking to licensees, licensors and agents for this first LSB of 2022, there is optimism for this year. We’re well used to our plans being thrown into disarray and adapting, and this has made us all even more tenacious, innovative and forward thinking. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.
The industry has a big opportunity to position itself in a proactive way going forward – as one of LSB’s long-time contributors often points out, licensing can add value to businesses and help create fresh impetus for companies in challenging times.
Nowhere is this truer than at retail. While the popularity of online shopping has been hastened by the pandemic, this is the year where bricks and mortar retailers have a real chance to bring people back to high streets.
From branded in-store experiences – something which Primark has been championing for major licensed properties since before the pandemic – to dedicated cross-category aisles in supermarkets, pop-up stores and more innovative, eye-catching window displays, there is real pent up demand from consumers and it’s there for the taking.
Crucially though, the industry as a whole needs to remember that consumers aren’t the same as they were two years ago. As another of our contributors in this issue points out, they’ve spent two years dealing with a global pandemic and they now want products from all categories which deliver something different – whether that’s to wear, for their homes, for their children, for their pets. Put that together with a freshened up approach from bricks and mortar retail, and we’re well on our way.
Let’s do all we can to make sure that 2022 is the year that the groundhog finally comes out, and stays out, of hibernation.
We hope that you enjoy the issue – as well as the usual bumper batch of exclusive news, interviews and viewpoints (from the UK and internationally), we’ve also highlighted the vital Services & Suppliers sector of the licensing business in our special guide.