All ‘non-essential’ retail to re-open from June 15

Thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres were on May 25 given three weeks to prepare, as the government gave the date of June 15 for when non-essential retail could re-open its doors.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that non-essential stores – including those which sell licensed products such as clothing, toys and books – will be able to open from next month if the government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.

Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.

The government is publishing updated COVID-secure guidelines for people who work in or run shops, branches and stores, as well as working with local authorities to continue to carry out spot checks and follow up on concerns by members of the public.

Measures that shops should consider include placing a poster in their windows to demonstrate awareness of the guidance and commitment to safety measures; storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor; placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas; and frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly.

“Bira is pleased with the guidance being given to retail outlets,” commented Andrew Goodacre, ceo of the British Independent Retailers Association. “It provides a broad framework for the basic measures and still allows the retailer to be flexible according to the size, layout and location of the shop.”

All non-essential retailers in England have been closed since March 23.

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/all-non-essential-retail-to-re-open-from-june-15/

Dolly Parton, American Greetings Ink E-Card Deal

Country music icon Dolly Parton has unveiled the first new product in her collaboration with American Greetings, according to a report by Music Row. A birthday e-card set to the tune of her hit “9 to 5” has been created through the company’s SmashUp digital initiative.

Users can send a birthday e-card set to the tune of Parton’s hit and can customize the card with one of 1,200 different names available on SmashUp.

“We’re so excited to share the ‘Birthday Time’ SmashUp with our members, Dolly’s fans and anyone looking for ways to make someone feel special on their birthday,” says Rob Matousek, executive director and general manager, direct to consumer business, American Greetings. “We felt that the Country Music Hall of Fame theater was the perfect venue for Dolly to deliver an extra special birthday wish and it made a great backdrop for her incredible talent. She makes everything sparkle and hearing her say your name and seeing your name in lights next to Dolly on stage is sure to be magical for lucky recipients.”

Earlier this year, American Greetings announced a multi-partnership deal with Parton. The deal includes both physical and digital products that integrate her songs. Parton-themed greeting cards are set to hit shelves at Walmart later this summer.

“Celebrating who you are and why you are special is something I have always encouraged and have known is important for my own identity,” says Parton. “God made us all unique in our own ways, and I love the fact that I was able to offer something special for everyone. In a time like now, when we do not get the chance to share special moments like birthdays with each other in-person, I am so happy to know my ‘Birthday Time’ SmashUp ecard is now available to share with those you love.”

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/greetings-stationery/dolly-parton-american-greetings-ink-e-card-deal

‘Mondays with Michelle Obama’ Releases New Story Time Episodes

Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books and PBS KIDS have announced that “Mondays with Michelle Obama,” its collaboration with the former First Lady of the U.S., will be extended with four new story times on May 18 and May 25.

On each of the new dates, two videos from “Mondays with Michelle Obama” will live-stream back-to-back on Facebook and YouTube, with the former First Lady being joined by surprise guests for one of the two children’s books she will read aloud.

The story times “Mondays with Michelle Obama” began on April 20 on Facebook and YouTube, in support of Penguin Random House’s recently launched “Read Together, Be Together“ literacy initiative and PBS KIDS’s “Read-Along” effort.

“Mondays with Michelle Obama” are livestreamed simultaneously at 12:00PM EDT on PBS KIDS’ Facebook page and YouTube channel, and on Penguin Random House’s Facebook page. It will be available for viewing on-demand on all of those platforms immediately thereafter.

The additional episodes of “Mondays with Michelle Obama” will feature Obama reading aloud from four children’s books:

May 18:

  • “Giraffe Problems” written by Jory John; illustrated by Lane Smith; and
  • “The Bear Ate Your Sandwich” with a surprise guest, written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach.

May 25:

  • “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss; and
  • “Can I Be Your Dog?” with a surprise guest, written and illustrated by Troy Cummings.

A suite of activities, tips, and resources for each of the books that Obama will read are available at readtogetherbetogether.com, and companion literacy resources are available on pbskidsforparents.org.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/publishing/mondays-michelle-obama-releases-new-story-time-episodes

Leomil, Baby Shark Swim into Footwear Deal

Leomil, part of The Cortina Group, is expanding its footwear portfolio with Baby Shark. Nickelodeon and Pinkfong, the brands behind “Baby Shark,” have partnered with Leomil, to present a Baby Shark-branded collection following a deal brokered by WildBrain CPLG. This first collection will be available for back-to-school 2020 in Europe and the Middle East.

“We are delighted to be working with a best-in-class partner such as Leomil on Baby Shark,” says Matt Tobia, senior licensing manager, WildBrain CPLG Benelux. “Leomil has created a bold, colorful and fun collection, which really encapsulates what makes Baby Shark so popular. We look forward to seeing the products launch at retail for the back-to-school period.”

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/footwear/leomil-baby-shark-swim-footwear-deal

Brands rising to feed the need and show they care

With governments around the world making it mandatory for its citizens to wear face masks for the foreseeable future to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 virus, several entrepreneurs and companies have already picked up the mantle to serve this need by repurposing their existing assets. Some purely as CSR initiatives and others as a balance between CSR & to support other businesses that have dipped due to the strictures that have been imposed on business as usual. Here are just a few of the initiatives that caught our eye.

Bravado the licensing arm of Universal Music Group recently announced an initiative to provide a range of non-surgical face masks to its fans under the initiative We’ve got you covered. The website also mentions 100% of net proceeds will be donated to Music cares an initiative to benefit music-oriented charities and communities. The face masks are priced at $15/- each and are branded with some of the most iconic music brands including Queen, The Rolling Stones, Guns N Roses, Imagine Dragons, YungBlud, Black Pink and Black Sabbath.

 

According to LicensingSource.Net, Bravado and Universal Music Group (UMG) launched the programme first by offering free face masks to all UMG employees. The programme will also contribute 50,000 masks to those serving communities across the US including workers in food banks, school lunch programmes, homeless shelters and other community service providers.

Closer home in India, quite a few brands and designers have also decided to repurpose their existing resources to help meet the need of non-surgical masks. With the objective of “Staying Safe and Stylish” designers Anita Dongre & Masaba to name a few have announced initiatives via social media platform Instagram earlier this month much to the delight of their fans.

Said Ms. Dongre, “Ever since lockdown measures came into place, we have been finding ways to contribute meaningfully to safety efforts amidst the current pandemic. These efforts have now been greenlit.”

(image courtesy Anita Dongre’s Instagram account)

 She further stated – “24 of our women employees from two of our community tailoring units in Charoti and Dhanevari have offered their services in creating protective face masks to meet the needs of the community at large. All social distancing norms and hygiene measures will be followed during this time”

(image courtesy Anita Dongre’s Instagram account)

Designer Masaba Gupta wrote “Changing gears for some time in the wake of the current pandemic & lockdown across the country, all operations at the House of Masaba came to a halt. While the damage that this will do is immeasurable at this point, my hope is to keep my chin up by doing my bit to help my country instead-in this time. We have started the production of non-surgical masks for donation at a production facility keeping all hygiene and safety standards in mind. These masks are washable and reusable”

India’s largest English news daily The Times Of India has taken the DIY route to rally its readers to design their own face masks and share the same with the tag #MaskIndia on its website. Best masks get featured in the newspaper. So far the campaign has received over 90,000 submissions.

(image courtesy Times Of India campaign page)

While the central government has announced 17th May as the end date for Lockdown 3.0, the Prime Minister’s Office has left it to individual state governments to decide on their exit plans. However, the discourse has certainly shifted from saving lives to saving “lively hoods” and with 1.3 billion people to care for getting things up and running and back to normalcy is going to need everyone to pitch in with whatever they can do. Whether its making masks or serving at a local soup kitchen, we are all in this together.