Inside Licensing News and Notes – March 17th

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Bid to Take Lifetime Brands Private

Mill Road Capital has launched a bid to take Lifetime Brands private, potentially injecting additional funding to continue its acquisitions. Lifetime, which completed a string of purchases during the past year – Chicago Metallic, Swing-A-Way and Wilton Armetale –has long-time licensing agreements for Farberware (cutlery, cutting boards), KitchenAid (kitchen cutlery, bakeware, pantry products), Cuisinart (cutlery) and Guy Fieri (cutlery, cookware bakeware).

Earlier, Lifetime’s reported a 7.1% gain in net income to $14.7 million in Q4 ended Dec. 31 on a 4.1% rise in revenue to $193.7. Meanwhile, the company will shift recently acquired Chicago Metallic away from cookware, where Lifetime has licensing agreements with Guy Fieri and Mossy Oak, to focus on its strength in bakeware, CEO Jeffrey Siegel told analysts.

Among Lifetime’s other bakeware brands is a license for the Sabatier label. Lifetime also signed an agreement with the design firm W. Turnowsky for its Mikasa and Pfaltzgraff dinnerware and giftware, bringing the brands into licensing for the first time.


Lifetime Brands, Jeffrey Siegel, CEO, 516-683-8000,


Inter Parfums Repositioning Karl Lagerfeld

Inter Parfums will cut the retail price on Karl Lagerfeld-licensed fragrances 25% this year as it seeks to jump start the brand’s sluggish sales, company executives told analysts. At the same time, Inter Parfums “will likely” exercise its rights to end its 2014 agreement with Lagerfeld before it expires in 2032, CFO Russell Greenberg told us. Inter Parfums took a $5.7 million charge in 2016 as a result of the expected shortening of the contract. “Sales have been disappointing and we have plans to reposition the brand and launch new products,” Greenberg said.

Inter Parfums also is selling the license for Balmain fragrances back to the French fashion firm for $5.7 million, ending what had been a 12-year agreement signed in 2011. The Balmain fragrances accounted for less than 1% of Inter Parfums’ annual sales.

Meanwhile, Inter Parfums’ net income in Q4 ended Dec. 31 rose 111% to $3.9 million on a 15.3% gain in revenue to $134 million. The increased revenue was driven by a 25% gain in sales of Montblanc fragrances, including Legend Spirit, and the first-year sales of Coach women’s fragrances. The Coach brand posted annual sales of $23 million, including $9.2 million in Q4, Greenberg said. The Coach brand, which will add a men’s product this year, launched in the U.S. with distribution through Macy’s and other department store chains and will expand into Japan and China this year. Inter Parfums’ Q4 U.S. sales, which rose 17.3% to $34.9 million, also benefitted from the launch of Abercrombie & Fitch Instinct and Hollister Wave fragrances. It will add an Abercrombie & Fitch women’s fragrance this year.


Inter Parfums, Russell Greenberg, Chief Financial Officer, 212-983-2640,


Richlife Launches Online Sales of Boy Scouts Boots

Richlife Footwear International has sold more than 300 pairs of Boy Scouts of America hiking boots since launching in late January and is expanding distribution to camping and outdoor equipment specialty stores, say Rich Life’s Matt Brown. The blue and yellow version of Expedition Pro BSA ($89) has so far been the top seller, outdistancing a tan version and the entry-level Scout Pro BSA ($69), says Brown. Richlife so far has been spending about $1,000 a month promoting the brand across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google AdWords, says Brown. The BSA also has been packaging flyers promoting the boots, the group’s first, with shipments of other products.


Richlife Footwear International, Matt Brown, SVP, 201-321-5589,


Dollar General Adding 1,000 Stores

Dollar General will open 1,000 stores this year, up from 900 added in 2016, including extending its small store, 3,400-square foot format targeting metro markets with two new locations, company executives told analysts. Dollar General DGX, significantly smaller than the 7,300-square-foot standard location, launched in late 2016 with a store in Nashville, TN added one in Raleigh, NC in February. The company also will add 160 of its 6,000-square-foot stores, expanding them to 250 locations. The 13,320-store chain’s reported a 10.3% increase in net income on a 13.7% revenue jump, as same-store sales edged up one percent. Strong sales of home products were offset by a decline in apparel and seasonal products, the company said.


John Garrat, Chief Financial Officer,615-855-4000


Executive Changes

Julian Montoya promoted from VP to SVP Global Toys at Warner Bros. Consumer Products … Bruna Sawada, ex-Turner, named regional manager for eOne Entertainment as the company readies new office in Sao Paulo, Brazil to handle licensing for “Peppa Pig”, “Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom” and “PJ Masks”… Changes at Williams-Sonoma: Sandra Stangl resigns as Pottery Barn President, replaced By EVP Marta Benson; Jennifer Kellor, EVP Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen, advances to President of Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen; Jeff Howie, EVP Pottery Barn Brand Finance, named Chief Administrative Officer… Dollar General Chief Merchandising Officer James Thorpe to retire effective April 15.