Total Licensing Summer 2021 is Live!
Welcome to the Summer 2021 issue of Total Licensing. This is possibly one of the most varied issues we’ve ever published in terms of content.
At a time when most of us are restricted in some way from international travel, we have deliberately tried to keep our content as broad as possible – keeping our readers in touch with what’s happening in other parts of the world and highlighting some of the opportunities.
In Asia, we go in depth into India and South Korea and what’s happening in these markets. In Japan, we hear some of the fond memories of Eric Carle, who was so popular in the Japanese market.
In Latin America we learn of some of the issues faced by Colombia and take a detailed look at the legacy left by Brazilian Formula One champion Ayrton Senna whose licensing program continues to thrive nearly thirty years after his untimely death.
And from Russia we hear more about CTC Media’s brands as well as Moonzy from Melnitsa who recently surpassed ten billion views on YouTube.
This issue, of course, covers some of the most important factors at play today.
Sustainability is so much more than a buzz-word now and the licensing industry is without doubt growing more aware – not just of the steps they need to take but also how to future-proof business. It says a great deal that The Sustainability in Licensing Conference, which took place virtually in June, attracted over 500 attendees from around the world, all on a mission to be updated, educated and informed on the latest movements as the consumer products industry heads for a more sustainable future.
Over and above all these, of course the subject top of the list is the pandemic. Our Global Roundtable this year focusses on how businesses coped with the early restrictions and lockdowns and how they are emerging from the grip of Covid-19. Our participants came from different parts of the world but, interestingly, had similar views on how the pandemic had affected business. Most seemed to fare significantly better than they expected through the initial turmoil and, generally speaking, are optimistic looking ahead.
Retail, of course, was the main topic of conversation. Online retail grew by 44% in the US in 2020. The UK grew by 21% and Australia by a substantial 57%. Nobody in our panel doubts that online retail will continue its upward trajectory. However, they do believe strongly that by regrouping and offering more in the way of an experience bricks & mortar retail will remain strong, despite the many lockdowns and long periods of inactivity. Consumers quickly adapted to the new world of Amazon, Alibaba and the rest. But clearly that doesn’t mean they don’t want to go to physical shops. You only have to look at the mile-long lines outside Primark in the UK on the day the shop reopened after lockdown. The future would seem most likely to be a mix of online and offline shopping.
The key issue of concern amongst many is that of supply. Manufacturing, shipping, logistics and supply chains have suffered and continue to suffer which, of course, has a knock-on effect. The days of always manufacturing on the other side of the world may be numbered. More and more are looking to manufacture closer to home, thus eliminating part of the problem. Whether this is a temporary move or one that will become permanent even once the pandemic impact is over, remains to be seen.
On a positive note, we are seeing the return of in-person trade events and plans are well underway for Brand Licensing Europe in November.
Ahead of that, of course, we have Licensing Expo Virtual in August which is attracting a significant exhibitor and visitor roster. This issue carries a preview of some of the brands on show and information about what the event comprises this year.
We very much hope, by the time we publish our Autumn/Fall issue that life will be returning to normal in as far as it can. In the meantime, our website (www.totallicensing.com) will keep you up to date on daily news and views from around the world.
Have a great summer!
Francesca Ash, Publisher, Total Licensing