Inside Licensing News and Notes, Sept. 7, 2017

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G-III Apparel Investing in DKNY, Donna Karan Licensing

G-III Apparel will spend a “good deal of money” on marketing the DKNY and Donna Karan brands in expanding a licensee base that includes Hanesbrands (hosiery, legwear, sleepwear), Estee Lauder (fragrances), PVH (menswear) and Fossil (watches), G-III CEO Morris Goldfarb told analysts. “They are all very significant licensees that are aggressive in building brands,” Goldfarb said. “When we first acquired the [Donna Karan] brand, we noticed there was no love given to licensees. Being a licensee for the last 30 years, I was sensitive to that.”

G-III acquired the DKNY and Donna Karan brands from LVMH for $669 million in late 2016 and has forecast wholesale revenue from them to hit $200 million in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31. It will have DKNY read-to-wear apparel, handbags and footwear in 230 Macy’s stores this fall.

G-III also is projecting increasing revenue from the Tommy Hilfiger brand it licensed from PVH for womenswear to $400 million with four years, up from $250 million in the current fiscal year. The company also is extending the licensed Calvin Klein brand to handbags, a category that will generate sales of $250-$350 million within the next several years, Goldfarb said.

Meanwhile. G-III’s net loss in Q2 ended July 31 widened to $8.5 million from $1.2 million due partly to a $13.8 million operating loss at Donna Karan, the company said. Revenue rose 22% to $538 million, including $45 million from DKNY and Donna Karan brands. Wholesale revenue rose 29.6% to $461 million and included $35 million from Donna Karan.


Neal Nackman, Chief Financial Officer, 212-403-5000


Lifetime Brands Buying Fitz and Floyd

Lifetime Brands acquires tabletop products supplier Fitz and Floyd to its brand portfolio.  Fitz and Floyd, which sells a broad range of tabletop including licensed Hershey’s canisters and bowls, will be accretive to Lifetime’s earnings this year.  Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Lifetime has an array of licensed brands, including KitchenAid, Guy Fieri, Mossy Oak and Debbie Meyer.

Contact: Evan Miller, VP, 516 683 8000,


George Best Hotel to Open in Belfast in May

Signature Living will open an 80-room George Best Hotel in May, the first of two expected under a licensing agreement with late Northern Ireland soccer star’s estate. Construction begins this fall on a hotel stocked with George Best memorabilia. A second location is planned for Manchester, UK, where Best played 11 years for Manchester United until 1974. The George Best agreement is the most recent in several deals Signature has struck for soccer-themed hotels. It opened the 83-room Shankley Hotel, named after former Liverpool Manager Bill Shankley, in 2015, and will add a 100-bedroom property named for the late Everton player Dixie Dean opposite the Shankley, in 2018.  IMG Worldwide handles licensing for George Best.


IMG Worldwide, Matthew Primack, VP Licensing, PHONE NUMBER?


Lego Cutting 1,400 Jobs

Lego Group is cutting 1,400 jobs in the face a 3% decline in first-half profit to $543 million and as part of an effort to “build a smaller and less complex” company, Lego Chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp said in a statement. First-half revenue declined 5% to $2.4 billion despite The Lego Batman Movie generating $310 million at the box office. Prior to the restructuring, Lego had 18,200 employees, including 715 at its U.S. headquarters in Enfield, CT. In expanding during the past five years to create a company for double-digit revenue growth, Lego has added “complexity into an organization which in turn makes it harder for us to grow further,” Knudstorp said. As part of the restructuring, Lego in some markets is “addressing a clean-up for inventories” across its distribution channels, Knudstorp said.


Lego, Lee Allentuck, Senior Licensing Mgr., 860-763-6759,


Rovio Readying IPO

Rovio Entertainment is readying an initial public offering (IPO), potentially providing new funding for the Angry Birds 2 movie due in 2019, the company said. Rovio majority owner and former Chairman Kaj Hed and some other shareholders will sell shares and Rovio will offer about $36 million in new stock, the company said. Rovio didn’t release further details, but Bloomberg reported the IPO could be valued at $400 million.


Simo Hamalainen, SVP Brand Licensing, +358 50 585 9757,

Monster Mini Golf Opening Twilight Zone-themed facility

Miniature golf is entering the Twilight Zone. Monster Mini Golf is developing a 10,000-square-foot glow-in-the-dark course on the lower level of Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel under an agreement with CBS Consumer Products. The Bally’s location will be Monster’s second licensed location in Las Vegas, following a 13,000-square-foot Kiss-themed course that opened in Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in 2012. Monster has 30 franchised locations including 28 in the U.S. across 13 states and two in Canada.


CBS Consumer Products, Veronica Hart, VP Licensing,  212-975-6894,

Monster Mini Golf, Christina Vitagliano, Co-Founder, 401-454-8100