21 Feb 2024

A look at the Licensing Landscape for 2024

A look at the Licensing Landscape for 2024

Greetings, retailers and suppliers! 


At Spring Fair 2024, the essence of retail was vibrantly showcased across our expansive show floor. From globally recognised brands like Disney and Marvel to emerging talents, the event provided a glimpse into the diverse and dynamic world of retail. With over 1200 quality brands and a myriad of exclusive exhibitors, Spring Fair served as a hub of inspiration and opportunity for retailers and creators alike. 


Looking ahead to the licensing landscape of 2024, we draw upon valuable insights gleaned from industry experts. Trend forecasts indicate several key areas of opportunity for retailers and licensors alike. 


One notable trend is the emphasis on consumer-centric strategies and emotional connections. Brands are increasingly focused on engaging with consumers on a deeper level, leveraging storytelling and immersive experiences to create meaningful connections. This trend extends across various categories, from entertainment and toys to fashion and beauty. 


Additionally, the rise of streaming services and multigenerational storytelling presents exciting opportunities for licensing. Franchise expansions and collaborations with streaming platforms are expected to drive growth in the entertainment sector. Similarly, the resurgence of blockbuster films and video games offers lucrative opportunities for licensing partnerships. 


In terms of growth areas, the beauty and wellness category is gaining prominence in licensing. Collaborations between beauty brands and gaming franchises, for example, are opening up new avenues for product development and creativity. 


However, retailers should be mindful of potential challenges in the licensing landscape. Economic uncertainties and shifting consumer preferences can impact the success of licensed products. It's essential for retailers to stay agile and responsive to market trends, while also ensuring they have a clear understanding of their target audience and brand positioning. 


                                                             Products at Spring Fair February 2024, held at the NEC, Birmingham                                                             


In terms of best-selling items in retail licensing, established brands like Disney, Barbie and Marvel continue to dominate the market. These brands have a strong fan base and appeal to consumers of all ages, making them returning favourites in the licensing space. 


For retailers looking to embark on a licensing journey in the UK, there are several resources and support networks available. Industry events like Spring Fair provide valuable opportunities for networking and learning from industry experts. Additionally, trade publications such as Total Licensing, Licensing Source, License Global and global organisation Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) offer resources, training programs and networking opportunities for retailers and licensors alike. 


One of the standout sessions at this year's Spring Fair was the "Licensing Masterclass," held at our popular Masterclass Studio. Led by Catrina O'Brien, the UK Licensing Director at Hasbro Inc., this exclusive session provided invaluable insights into strategic brand enhancement. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from the stewards of iconic brands like Peppa Pig, Transformers, My Little Pony and Furby. Catrina shared best practices, do's and don'ts and illuminated the transformative impact of licensing on businesses. It was truly a must-attend session for retailers and creators looking to elevate their offerings through strategic partnerships and licensing agreements. 


In partnership with Hasbro, we were thrilled to celebrate Peppa Pig's 20th Anniversary at Spring Fair 2024. Peppa's Party, held on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th February, was a delightful affair complete with drinks, cake and the unveiling of Peppa's new dress! It was a testament to the enduring appeal and success of licensed brands in the retail landscape. Our Trend Trails, including one specifically focused on Licensing, highlighted the diverse array of licensed products available, offering attendees a curated journey of discovery. 


Trade shows like Spring Fair play a pivotal role in supporting the licensing sector, providing a platform for collaboration, discovery, learning and networking. Ultimately, success in retail licensing requires a combination of creativity, strategic partnerships and a deep understanding of consumer trends. By staying informed and leveraging the right resources, retailers can capitalise on the opportunities presented by the dynamic licensing landscape in 2024. 


Peppa Pig at Peppa's Party at Spring Fair February 2024 at the NEC, Birmingham.

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