Retail’s on the go at the Expo!

Posted by Carol Spieckerman on June 01, 2011

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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 the second year that we’ve conducted the presentation and safari at the expo for LIMA. I can’t believe how much has changed just since last June and how many of the trajectories that I projected have unfolded—SKU and brand rationalization reversals, small format proliferation, and hyper-localization among them. I’ll track those changes and bring a slew of fresh insights into where retailers are going and how licensors, licensees, and agencies can leverage these trajectories in direct-to-retail positioning strategies for 2012 and beyond.

Retailers are more selective than ever in choosing the partners who will articulate elements of their brand narratives or, in many cases, are reserving the right to take many of their brand functions in-house. At the same time, they are bent on amping up agility, connecting consumer touch points, and bringing empowerment back to the stores in order to make it all happen.

Ultimately, the standards for creating value as a supplier or brand partner have never been higher, and staying on top of where value is migrating is proving ever more challenging as everyone, including retailers, gets into everyone else’s business through category extensions, acquisition, organic expansion, or in some cases, simply by reframing what they already do. At the same time, retailers are exploring new brand models, brand extensions, and formats that will build brand engagement with new customer segments.

J.C. Penney is looking beyond its private labels through shop-in-shop partnerships with Mango and Sephora and exclusives with Liz Claiborne and their findmore kiosks are hybridizing digital and physical shopping; Best Buy created an internal ad agency, and its connected store concept drives engagement by pulling virtual worlds, services, and products together under one roof; and Walmart has pursued groundbreaking brand partnerships in select categories and is once again messaging value, assortment, and brand breadth in its stores. I’ll cover these dynamics and many more in the presentation and in my personalized walk-through during the safari. Your questions and interaction will be welcomed throughout both segments.

Retail is a critical success factor for the majority of companies that are involved in licensing, and as retailers control more of the processes and a growing number of consumer touch points that drive licensing success, it’s never been more important to have insights, not just information, on what will drive your value with retailers. LIMA’s retail-focused programming at the expo is designed to provide you and your teams with targeted insights that you can’t get anywhere else. Don’t miss out on this terrific opportunity to learn more about where retailers are going and to network with other brand executives.

Click here and follow these directions to register for the Retail Tour.

If you haven’t already signed up to attend Licensing International Expo, begin the Expo registration process, then follow the instructions in the starred paragraph below. If you have previously registered for the Licensing International Expo, enter your email address on the left side of the page to locate your record. When your personal profile appears, confirm details by clicking the button on the bottom of the page.

***On the following screen, you’ll be asked (among other things) whether you’re interested in attending the Retail Tour. Click “Yes.” Proceed to checkout, at which point you’ll be charged for the Retail Tour and any Licensing U. Sessions you’ve signed up for.