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Retailers show licensed line gains over Christmas

TruffleShuffle, Forbidden Planet and John Lewis report good growth to The Source.

A number of retailers have told The Source that they enjoyed a good Christmas sales period on licensed products.

However, the season certainly wasn’t without its challenges, with the retailers that The Source spoke to noting that consumer buying patterns have certainly changed.

Omar Khan, licensing and special projects manager at Forbidden Planet said that pop culture continues to be a “golden age” for the retailer.

“Despite challenging conditions on the high street, we saw a strong Christmas overall,” Omar said. “Toys took a hit over Q4 2017 compared to 2016, but were buoyed by strong sales on superhero-themed books and comics, plus a considerable increase in sales of licensed clothing.

“Star Wars continued its hot streak, but saw serious competition from Batman and Harry Potter. In terms of biggest growing licence, Rick and Morty was far and away the winner, with a whopping 400% increase in sales over the same period in 2016 – bolstered by sell-out sales of our official exclusive Rick and Morty Christmas jumper.”

Meanwhile, TruffleShuffle agreed that Christmas was a good one, however the sales pattern was different to previous years.

Lucy Smith, buying and merchandising director, said: “The big Christmas sales kicked in later, but when they did, it was mad! Star Wars (with the movie coming out in the festive season helping), Beauty and The Beast, Harry Potter, Labyrinth and Mr Men were key licences for us over the festive season.”

Over at John Lewis, the retailer’s gifts and Candleshop also enjoyed strong sales.

Sara Allbright, buyer, said that, in terms of gifts, personalised items created good interest, while board games and jigsaw puzzles were also star performers.

Sara commented: “We had a great Christmas on Gifts and Candleshop at John Lewis, breaking many of our sales records especially in the last week before Christmas because, as we had expected, trade came very late in the season with a full weekend for customers to snap up last minute gifts.

“Within Candleshop, people have definitely wanted the scent of Christmas with our own brand and branded ranges of Christmas scents both performing particularly well. Our collaboration with Neom on their Wellbeing Street Christmas concept at Oxford Street was very well received and looked beautiful.”

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