World in motion: “Most of our traditional bricks and mortar retailers are suffering”

MDL Licensing’s Maurizio Distefano on expanding its target audience and having the ability to adapt.

LicensingSource.net chats to a selection of licensors and agents based outside of the UK to find out their takeaways from 2020, what the biggest challenges and opportunities are for licensing moving forward, their main aims for 2021 and what word they would use to describe business in both last year and this year.

Today, we head to Italy to get the views of Maurizio Distefano, founder and president, MDL Licensing.

“All in all, 2020 was positive given the circumstances, thanks mainly to our ability to adapt. We have been using digital marketing activities to overcome the lack of trade shows and face to face meetings and we have been able to continue servicing our licensors and licensees full-time.

Our main goal [this year] is to consolidate 2020’s results for entertainment properties and to launch new properties we now represent. We also aim to expand our target audience to include teenagers and adults who we feel will respond favourably to the new brands and properties we represent.

Most of our traditional bricks and mortar retailers are suffering. The fast development of ecommerce and online sales has disrupted their business model as they are not equipped to fight this new battle. Licensees, meanwhile, are figuring out how best to juggle business as usual – sales to traditional retailers – and ecommerce, which is still seen by some licensees as a threat to their traditional way of doing business.

Words of the year – 2020: resilience, 2021: change.”

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2021 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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