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TOTAL LICENSING
strength of the UK pre-school proper- music. It is this creativity and the derstand their consumers’ needs ex-
ty market is proof that local talent will richness of the English culture that will ceptionally well and are able to offer
out. Our sense of humour and style always generate successful application the right combination of great service,
sets UK entertainment product apart that will appeal and have commercial innovative products and a stimulating
from other markets. Our strength and opportunities overseas”. retail environment.
depth of talent in writing, production, There is every reason to suppose
animation and performing means we’ll
Bearing in mind current
that the current economic downturn,
always be a major supplier to overseas
economic issues, in
especially since it is not UK specific,
markets”.
general terms, how do you
will continue through 2009. At the
view the current British
commodity end of the market there
Clare Piggot: “We’re known for orig-
retail situation? Do you
will definitely continue to be a margin
inal and quality properties in both TV squeeze. At the premium end of the
and licensing. We’ve been doing it very
think that this will improve
market, however, experience tells us
well for a number of years and we will
or deteriorate in, say, the
that luxury brands tend to buck eco-
continue do so. Yes we’re influenced
next twelve or eighteen
nomic downturns and continue to take
by the US - it’s the main provider of
months? What factors will
their share of discretionary spending”.
blockbuster movies, for example - but determine the future of
we have a lot of home-grown quality
retail in your opinion?
Nicholas Durbridge: “Retail is not
product. There’s a lot of talent in the good and people are cutting back on
UK, and overseas markets look to us
Sean Clarke: “In terms of the char-
spending. But, there are always ways
in terms of quality broadcasting, pub-
acter licensing industry, nothing has
to make money in a recession. Some
lishing and innovation generally”.
materially changed over the last 5
retailers won’t survive though and I do
years in that a Handful of retailers
believe it will get worse in the next
Claire Shaw: “The UK provides a
control a large proportion of the mar-
three years”.
hot bed of talent and several proper-
ket, what has changed is economic cli-
ties have emerged from the UK which
mate, in that we now have to make
Angela Farrugia: “Buyers are play-
have become instant overnight global
sure that we adapt are product devel-
ing it ‘safer ‘ than ever. This results in
successes. At ER we are working with
opment and pricing to reflect the fact
new properties having a harder than
Tiger Aspect, one of Britain’s most
that consumers are spending less. I
average time to get going, as manu-
Stephen Gould
creative and successful production
am reasonably optimistic for the next
facturers and retailers will look to
4Kids international
houses on a new animated pre-school
18 months in that employment is still
secure their decision making on sev-
show – Tinga Tinga Tales. The produc-
high in the UK, we just need some re-
eral known criteria. TLC spends time
tion has TV platforms secured in both
lief on cost of utilities and easing of
bringing together partners at all levels
the UK (CBeebies) and US (Disney
credit facilities to release more con-
to secure success, brand owner, licen-
PlayHouse) and is also expected to
sumer spend. The key retailers will
sees, retailer etc..great properties will
have global appeal. If you take Postman
steer their way through this ecomonic
always shine through”.
Pat which has sold into 170 territories
dip, and we will look to work closely
worldwide, including more recently its
with them to support this process on
Stephen Gould: “British retail is un-
launch on CCTV in China, then this
Aardman’s brands.”
doubtedly in a transitional and unfor-
shows the mass appeal and strong ap- giving mode at present and for those
petite a brand which is perceived as
Ciarán Coyle: “In a tight economic
retailers who do not offer a USP with
having typically British appeal can also
environment, retail buyers tend to play
a theatrical and experiential reason to
resonate with audiences outside its
it safe and buy the tried-and-tested
visit their store, the outlook is indeed
native land.
brands rather than take the risk on
bleak. As a former multiple independ-
The UK definitely brings to the table
newer, perhaps lesser-known brands.
ent gift retailer, this means being inno-
an added creative edge which other
Whilst this can result in a bland retail
vative and pioneering in product and
markets can’t always match. Also the
environment, buyers find themselves
brand selection whilst also offering an
UK is steeped in heritage when it
trying to strike a balance between cre-
aesthetically pleasing and entertaining
comes to providing children’s output
ating a vibrant and cutting-edge retail
selling environment as well of course
Richard Hollis
and is known internationally for pro-
environment and meeting their sales
as the ubiquitous value. The latter,
BBC Worldwide
viding some of the most creative and
targets. As retail margins get squeezed,
however, does not solely mean price.
beautifully produced programming.
it is often licensed brands that carry a
It means the whole “shopping experi-
It’s that knowledge that other markets
price-premium that may suffer at the
ence” such as service, merchandising,
could benefit from”.
expense of private label and other
vignette display, lighting, music, floor
safer, more established brands.
plans, product mix etc.....in short, the
Anthony Temple: “Britain has al-
Retailers that will stand out from the
consistency and reputation of the
ways been a highly creative source
competition and ride this current eco-
corporate brand that is the retailer in
– whether publishing, design, TV or
nomic downturn are those that un-
question. James Hammond, author of
113
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