PEI Sews Up Shelli Segal Dresses

NMNY Group will further extend the Laundry by Shelli Segal brand with a new collection of dresses.

NORTH AMERICA–Perry Ellis International has partnered with NMNY Group to create a line of day and social occasion dresses under the Laundry by Shelli Segal and Laundry by Design brands in the U.S. and Canada.

The deal also builds on the brand’s current licensing program, which includes categories such as outerwear, fashion accessories, intimates, fragrance and home décor, among others.

“Our company looks forward to working closely with Marty, and his experienced NMNY Group, to expand the Laundry by Shelli Segal dress business,” says Oscar Feldenkreis, chief executive officer and president, PEI. “we believe this collaboration will enhance our larger efforts to grow this powerful brand across categories, channels and markets.”

NMNY will begin selling its Laundry by Shelli Segal and Laundry by Design dresses in November at department and specialty stores throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“We are very enthusiastic about the addition of Laundry by Shelli Segal to our portfolio of brands,” says Martin Schlossberg, chairman, NMNY Group. “This iconic brand has been a proven performer over many years and we are proud to support this heritage and the brand’s commitment to feminine, trend right styles for the modern woman.”

Marvel’s Black Panther Inspires Lexus

Black Panther will launch in U.S. theaters next February.

NORTH AMERICA–Marvel Studios has teamed up with Lexus for a 2018 LC Inspiration Series car based on the Black Panther.

Dubbed the Black Panther Inspired LC, the new vehicle will feature an exclusive structural blue color, pulsating underbody glow, a side-view mirror design based on a panther’s claw; Black Panther mask inlay on the hood; customized body-widening kit; and other additional (mythical) vibranium-infused elements. Vibranium is the mythical ore only found on Black Panther’s home of Wakanda.

The Black Panther-inspired LC will not be available for purchase; however, the vehicle will help promote Lexus’ 2018 LC Inspiration Series, which is the first in a succession of Inspiration Series vehicles the company plans to create for each of its flagship models.

Black Panther will launch in U.S. theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

U.S. Holiday Spending Trends Upward

Total spending for the holiday season is expected to top between $678.75 billion and $682 billion.

NORTH AMERICA–As the holiday season begins to rev up, the National Retail Federation reports that consumers will spend an average of $967.13 this year, up 3.4 percent from the $935.58 consumers said they would spend last year.

The findings are part of the annual holiday spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the NRF.

Furthermore, total spending for holiday retail sales in November and December are expected to top between $678.75 billion and $682 billion, up 3.6 percent and 4 percent, respectively, from last year’s $655.8 billion. This year’s forecast would also meet or exceed last year’s growth of 3.6 percent and the five-year average of 3.5 percent.

Holiday spending is segmented into three main categories–gifts at $608.06; products such as food, decorations, flowers and cards at $218.08; and other non-gift items consumers buy for themselves and their families at $140.99.

For the 11th year in a row, gift cards are the most popular items among consumers (requested by 61 percent of those surveyed), followed by clothing and accessories (55 percent); books, music or movies (39 percent); consumer electronics (33 percent); home décor (24 percent); jewelry (23 percent); personal care or beauty items (21 percent); sporting goods (20 percent); and home improvement items (18 percent).

When it comes to actually making a purchase, most consumers (59 percent) said they would shop online. The survey also found that 57 percent will shop at a department store, 54 percent at a discount store, 46 percent at a grocery store/supermarket and 35 percent at a clothing or accessories store. In addition, 27 percent plan to visit an electronics store, 25 percent a small or local business and 18 percent will go to a crafts store.

Furthermore, most consumers will wait until at least November to begin shopping. However, 22 percent of consumers started, or were planning to start, in October, while 19 percent started in September or earlier. Of these early shoppers, 65 percent say they are trying to spread out their budgets while 49 percent do not want the stress of last-minute shopping and 49 percent want to avoid crowds.

Additionally, the survey also found that 27 percent of consumer says their spending will be impacted by concerns about the nation’s economy, down from 32 percent from last year’s election.

“While many consumers are holding off until November or later to start their holiday shopping, retailers should be prepared for high traffic online and in stores come Thanksgiving weekend as customers start tackling their lists,” says Pam Goodfellow, principal analyst, Prosper Insights. “Although sales will remain an important factor for most consumers, many will lean on convenient locations and easy-to-use websites or mobile apps along with free shipping to complete their purchases.”


U.K. Toy Sales Shift Online

Amazon is also on track to overtake Argos as the largest toy retailer in the U.K.

EUROPE–The U.K. toys and games market is set to increase 16.2 percent to £4.9 billion in the next five years, according to U.K. research and consulting firm GlobalData.

GlobalData also reports that online sales will contribute to 84.1 percent of the total category growth for 2017-2022. And of those online sales? Amazon is currently on track to overtake Argos as the largest toy retailer in the U.K. by 2020, with 51.4 percent of toys and games shoppers visiting the site in 2017.

“Amazon has managed to improve shopper loyalty with its Amazon Prime services, and impressive range of toys and games,” says Molly Johnson-Jones, senior retail analyst, GlobalData Retail. “Prices on this year’s must-have toys are lower than its competitors, its range is unrivalled, and the convenience of its offering is market-leading.”

Delving deeper into the category, electronic and traditional toys will also support strong market growth over the next five years. Electronics are expected to hold 13.1 percent of the total toy market in 2022; while arts and crafts, construction toys and board games are projected to hold a total of 30.5 percent in 2022.

“Electronic toy growth is not changing the market yet, as older parents and grandparents still choose traditional toys over toys which bridge the interface between physical and digital play,” says Johnson-Jones. “However, as Millennials who grew up with digital entertainment start to have families, electronic toy sales will increase, and their simultaneous desire to do more ‘wholesome’ activities will mean that the strong growth of traditional toys will continue.”

Dark Hall Adds More ‘Charlie Brown’

The new prints showcase Jeremy Pailler’s take on the classic Halloween special.

NORTH AMERICA–Dark Hall Mansion, under license from Peanuts Worldwide, has released artist Jeremy Pailler’s take on the 1966 classic TV special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

Multiple limited edition prints, including a nighttime colorway edition, are on sale now.

Disney Unveils New Nutrition Guideline Icons

The new nutrition icons will also appear on roughly 85 percent of Disney’s North American licensed food and beverage portfolio.

NORTH AMERICA–The Walt Disney Company has expanded its Disney Check program to include Star Wars and Marvel icons on food and beverage packaging, content and recipes that meet the Disney Nutrition Guideline Criteria.

The Disney Check program was launched in response to parents looking for a simpler way to identify healthier food and beverage choices. The “Family of Checks” expansion to include Star Wars and Marvel will aim to help even more parents and kids find nutritious choices.

“Disney is committed to creating healthier generations by making healthy living fun and simple,” says Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, enterprise social responsibility, Disney. “Parents are looking for positive ways to encourage nutritious eating with their kids, and the expanded Disney Family of Checks puts the full power of the Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel brands to work for families.”

The Disney Nutrition Guideline Criteria was originally introduced in 2006 and was developed in consultation with credentialed nutrition experts. The criteria promote the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. They also help to limit saturated fats, sugar and sodium.

According to the company, 85 percent of its North American licensed food and beverage portfolio meets these standards, including an offering of fresh produce. Disney has also worked with licensees to reformulate products to meet these guidelines.

“We work with best-in-class food and beverage companies, and are excited that the Check tool is encouraging families to make healthier choices,” says John T. King, vice president, licensing, Disney Consumables. “We are always looking for new ways to expand our offering of healthy foods, and are thrilled to work with our licensees and partners to leverage this expanded tool.”

The new Disney Check icons will appear in-store, online, on-air and other places where Disney products are sold beginning this fall.

Popeye Teams with Tough Mudder in Oz

The classic character will be showcased on obstacle course branding, social media platforms, activations and more.

AUSTRALIA–In a deal brokered by Merchantwise Licensing, Popeye branding will be featured at flagship Australian Tough Mudder events throughout October and November.

The health-focused campaign will highlight Popeye across a dedicated training microsite, obstacle course branding, social media platforms, event day and digital activations. In addition, exclusive Tough Mudder by Popeye the Sailorman t-shirts will be available during events.

Merchantwise Licensing is the Australian agent for Popeye proprietor King Features.

Netflix Takes ‘Stranger Things’ to Target

Fans of the cult-hit series will be able to purchase loungewear, homewares and more ahead of its season two debut on Oct. 27.

NORTH AMERICA–Netflix has teamed up with Target to launch a raft of merchandise to celebrate the season two debut of their cult-hit “Stranger Things.”

Binge-worthy highlights from Target’s new collection include loungewear for men and women featuring the show’s characters as well as phrases like “What Would Barb Do?”; homewares like a Hawkins Middle School AV Club mug; Funko Pop! figures of Eleven with Eggos, a Demogorgon, Joyce, Barb and other popular characters; and collectible action figures starring Eleven, Lucas, Mike, Dustin, Will and a Demogorgon.

For fans that want to experience “Stranger Things” as if they were in the ‘80s, Target will release the first season on Blu-ray/DVD with VCR-inspired packaging. The retailer will also launch a “Stranger Things” soundtrack packed with ‘80s hits from The Police, The Bangles, Duran Duran and more.

“We’re excited to connect fans with the shows they love,” says Shauna Spenley, vice president, marketing and consumer products, Netflix. “The launch of our ‘Stranger Things’ merchandise with Target is part of a broader marketing approach that reflects the overall Netflix experience and we couldn’t imagine a better partner than Target.”

Many of the products from Target’s “Stranger Things” collection are now available in-store and online. The series’ soundtrack will drop Oct. 27.

“Netflix and the wildly popular programs they create have become part of our culture and our guests’ everyday lives,” says Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, Target. “This unique partnership offers guests access to merchandise they’ll find only at Target, and while we’re getting started with ‘Stranger Things,’ our plans to expand deeper into the Netflix lineup will provide guests with ongoing newness and even more reasons to shop with Target.”

Season two of “Stranger Things” will be available on Netflix, Oct. 27.

MIP: Nick Asia Lands Three Animated Shorts

Select episodes of each short will also be available on the “Nickelodeon Play” app in Singapore this December.

ASIA–Nickelodeon Asia has acquired the exclusive Pay TV and non-exclusive VOD rights to three animated shorts in Southeast Asia–“Cracké,” “Monster in a Box” and “Outopus.”

“Cracké” is a 3D animated comedy series that features Ed, an anxious ostrich dad, and his beloved brood. During each 1-minute episode, Ed causes troubles and treats with the good intention to protect his eight eggs.

Each 1-minute short from “Monster in a Box” features no dialogue (aside from the odd fart, sneeze or groan) and one unique Monster poised in a box just waiting for that special someone to open up and look inside.

Finally, “Outopus” is a 2-minute short that follows five octopus friends confined in a boring fish tank, and watching the ocean from their window. They spend their time planning a variety of crazy escapes, with the ultimate goal of getting out and swimming free.

Each short will air on Nick Asia’s linear channel beginning this month and select episodes will be available on the “Nickelodeon Play” app in Singapore this December.

Sequential Extends Martha Stewart Pub Deal

The new agreement will see three new titles published under the Martha Stewart brand.

NORTH AMERICA–Martha Stewart has extended her long-term licensing agreement with Clarkson Potter Publishers to publish three new culinary books through 2019.

Sequential Brands Group, owner of the Martha Stewart brand, brokered the deal.

As part of the continued relationship, Clarkson Potter will publish Martha Stewart’s Pressure Cooker in fall 2018, followed by Martha Stewart’s Grilling in spring 2019. The third, untilted publication will be released in fall 2019.

"My 35-year relationship with Clarkson Potter, which began with the publication of my very first book Entertaining in 1982, has been extremely productive and rewarding, and I am delighted to continue this collaboration," says Stewart. "We are already hard at work on Martha Stewart's Pressure Cooker and Martha Stewart's Grilling. I am excited for our readers to see all of the delicious recipes we are developing."

Since 1982, Clarkson Potter has published nearly 90 books with Stewart. According to the company, approximately 14 million copies of those books are currently in print.

"Martha Stewart's peerless aesthetic and enduring recipes have long been the benchmark in the lifestyle space, inspiring generations of readers to cook and entertain with confidence and style," says Aaron Wehner, senior vice president and publisher, Ten Speed Press, Clarkson Potter and Harmony. "Clarkson Potter is proud to have been Martha's book publishing home for 35 years, and we are thrilled to continue the incredibly successful partnership with Martha and her team."