LIMA Licensing Blog

One-on-one with Li & Fung’s Rick Darling (Part 2): Licensing best practices, retail differentiation and expansion

I had the pleasure of speaking with Rick Darling, president of LF USA, following his terrific keynote presentation at the International Licensing Expo in June. LF USA is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-headquartered Li & Fung Limited, the multinational consumer goods export and logistics group. Darling oversees LF USA’s rapidly expanding business in the U.S., where its portfolio of owned

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One-on-one with Li & Fung’s Rick Darling (Part 1): Global retailing and emerging formats

I had the pleasure of speaking with Rick Darling, president of LF USA, following his terrific keynote presentation at the International Licensing Expo. LF USA is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-headquartered Li & Fung Limited, the multinational consumer goods export and logistics group. Darling oversees LF USA’s rapidly expanding business in the U.S., where its portfolio of owned and licensed

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Li & Fung’s Rick Darling Frames Licensing’s Future during LIMA Keynote

How do you add value to a retailer who is already designing, developing, and building a supply chain on an almost direct basis? As a member of last June’s Licensing Expo keynote panel, Rick Darling, president of LF USA, identified this conundrum as one of his organization’s significant challenges. At that time, designing and developing brands had already gone from

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Comment period ending on proposed U.S. children’s food marketing guidelines

Last week, the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children — which includes representatives of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — held a public hearing into its proposals that would guide food companies in their marketing efforts toward children and teens. If adopted,

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Retail’s on the go at the Expo!

What do Best Buy, J.C. Penney, and Walmart have in common? For starters, all are among the directional retailers that we have selected as stops on this year’s LIMA retail safari, which will immediately follow my presentation on the State of U.S. Retail, at the 2011 International Licensing Expo in Las Vegas on Sunday, June 12th. The 2011 tour marks

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Spring Fling proves there is life outside London W1

Ah! Battersea! Rolls off the tongue just as well as Westminster, or Bloomsbury. Is it Battersea, though, and not Wandsworth ( really )? Whatever, I’m standing on the 13th floor of the Hotel Verta, overlooking the River Thames, in late February, and I’m wondering if I can persuade one hundred-plus LIMA members to come out here for the Spring Fling

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Retail Price Pressure Percolating

The recently-released April retail sales figures for the 25 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters showed an 8.9% gain in same-store sales for stores open more than a year, which is the best performance since March 2010. Profits at America’s biggest corporations are running 26% higher than they were a year ago, and are on track to post a quarterly record

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Both Sides Now

“I don’t believe that if you are going to build a long-term sustainable brand that you can chop up every component part and expect everyone to have a perfect P&L. It just does not work that way.” It would be easy to dismiss a sentiment, like the one posted above, as flippant or even out of touch with reality if

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Royal Wedding Merchandise Blues

(12-bar in E) Way down in South West one, that big house lit up fine Said way down in SW1, baby, folks are waitin’ for party time Surely I can’t be the only one, got something on my mind   In every corner of every store, honey, Royal wedding  gifts ain’t worth a dime Man said you don’t need no

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Cheap and Deep: Retail’s Perfect Acquisition Storm

Wall Street analysts are giddy anticipating the next wave of retail mergers, acquisitions, and buyouts. After a brutal couple of years in retail, money is cheap as the Fed attempts to spark economic recovery with lower interest rates. War chests are deep as lean-running companies make acquisition opportunism a top priority. Recent deals, such as Walgreens’ purchase of Drugstore.com and

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