Sequential Brands Group Sharpening Focus on Fashion, Health & Wellness

  Sequential Brands Group is sharpening its focus on the apparel and health & wellness categories with the sale of the Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse labels to Marquee Brands expected to close in early June. Sequential agreed to sell the brands to Marquee for $175 million in April, having acquired them nearly four years earlier for $353 million. Sequential

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Executives

  Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steve Temares departs and is replaced on an interim basis by board member and former Family Dollar executive Mary Winston, ending his 16-year run as the chain’s top executive. In addition, Andrea Weiss, a former L Brands executive and recent appointee to the board, will be chairman of the retailer’s new Business Transformation and

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Party City to Close 45 Stores, Readies New Formats

Party City is closing 45 stores this year, potentially shedding some of the locations it gained in acquiring other retailers during the past seven years, and is readying a new small-store format, company executives said in releasing Q1 earnings. The 966-store chain acquired iParty (2013, 52 stores in the New England area and Tampa Bay, FL), Party Packagers (2011, Canada)

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Jakks Pacific Banking on Frozen 2 to Drive Sales

The toy industry is expected to turn the corner in the second half with the release of Frozen 2 and other franchise films as it shakes off the after effects of Toys R Us’ liquidation that has reduced sales and retail shipments so far this year, Jakks Pacific CEO Stephen Berman said in releasing Q1 earnings. In particular, Jakks is

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Spin Master Posts $20.9 Million Q2 Loss as Sales Decline

Spin Master Corp. swung to a $20.9 million net loss in Q2 (ended March 31) from an $8.7 million profit a year earlier as sales fell 16.3% to $239 million amid a downturn in Hatchimals- and Paw Patrol-related revenue. The company did see strong gains in its games/plush and boys’ action/construction divisions though, owing to the acquisition of Gund and

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Disney’s Q2: Parks, Experiences and Products Operating Income Rises 15%

Disney’s revenue increased 3% to $14.9 billion in Q2 ended March 30,  the first quarter to include revenue from its acquisition of 21st Century Fox that closed on March 20. Fox added $25 million in operating income and $373 million in revenue to Disney’s earnings. But the largest increase  may have been in Disney’s net income, which jumped 85% to

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MGM Studios Sharpening Licensing Focus

MGM Studios is sharpening its focus on licensing, particularly via location-based entertainment and video and mobile games. The licensing program, with Brandgenuity continuing as its agency, initially will be built around James Bond (Bond 25 is due in April), Legally Blonde (a third film is slated for release Feb. 14, 2020), Robocop, The Addams Family (which will be released Oct.

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Electronic Arts Projects Sales of 6-8 Million Units for new Star Wars Title

Electronic Arts is forecasting sales of 6-8 million units for its new “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” game in the year ending March 31, 2020, which will help drive a 9% rise in revenue to $5.4 billion, EA executive said. The game, which is being developed by Respawn Entertainment, is expected to be available for Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox

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Williams-Sonoma Trademark Suit Against Amazon Can Proceed, Federal Judge Says

A federal district court judge rejected Amazon’s bid to dismiss Williams-Sonoma’s trademark infringement suit against it, ruling there was a “plausible inference” that Amazon was “cultivating the incorrect impression” with consumers that it was an authorized reseller. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Laporte, San Francisco, in a ruling released Thursday, found that Amazon’s “Shop by Williams-Sonoma” webpage used copyrighted pictures and

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Funko Burnishing Brand, Developing Own IP

Long known for licensed products, Funko is developing its own IP for “several” toy lines that will launch 2020 and plans to open a second retail store in Hollywood, CA (adding to the store at its Everett, WA headquarters) later this year, CEO Brian Mariotti said in releasing Q1 earnings. Funko didn’t release details on the new toy lines, but

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