Inside Licensing News and Notes, September 5, 2017

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Executive changes

June DeFabio, ex-Ralph Lauren, appointed EVP Women’s and Home Divisions at Iconix Brand Group… Rachel Wakley, ex-Tesco, named General Manager of Warner Bros. Consumers Products for the UK and Ireland… Changes at Vera Bradley: Beatrice Mac Cabe, VP Design, named Chief Creative Officer, replacing founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, who remains with the company; Theresa Palermo resigns as EVP Marketing, responsibilities assumed by Stephanie Scheele, ex-VP Market Strategy and Operations, who was named Chief Marketing Officer… Tony Weisman, ex-DigitasLBi, named Chief Marketing Officer at Dunkin’ Donuts…


Dunkin Donuts, Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer, 781-737-3000,

Iconix Brand Group, June DeFabio, EVP Women’s and Home Divisions, 212-730-0030,

Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Rachel Wakley, General Mgr UK and Ireland,  +44 07710 964598

Vera Bradley, Beatrice Mac Cabe, Chief Creative Officer, 888-855-8372,


Agency Appointments

Valiant Entertainment appoints Rocket Licensing to represent its characters, giving the comic book publisher a licensing presence in Europe for the first time… Global Icons is handling licensing for Dickey’s Barbecue Pit as the nearly 600-store chain seeks to expand its brand into non-food products including grills and smokers. Dickey’s previously handled licensing internally, and has existing agreements with Eddy Packing (sausages) and Teasdale Foods (baked beans) … Brand Central is representing YouTube star Jake Paul and Team 10 in seeking to bring them more broadly into consumer products. Paul has more than 15 million followers across Facebook, Twitter and other services.


Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Laura Rea Dickey, CEO, 972- 248-9899

Global Icons, Jeff Lotman, CEO, 310-820-5000,

Rocket Licensing, Charlie Donaldson, Joint Managing Dir., +44 207 207 6241,

Valiant Entertainment, Russell Brown, Pres. Consumer Products, (212) 972-0361 x229,

Five Below Having ‘Relatively Soft’ Licensed Product Sales This Year

Five Below is having “relatively soft” sales of licensed products this year compared to 2016, partly tied to the struggling summer movie box office, CEO Joel Anderson told analysts. Among licensed products Five Below carried from summer movies – Guardians of the Galaxy Vo. 2, Despicable Me 3, The Emoji Movie and Spiderman: Homecoming – sales of Minions-related products were the strongest, Anderson said. The decline in licensed product sales is being offset by those of trend items including spinners, slime and smiley face toys, Anderson said. Even Star Wars, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi slated for December, won’t be a “major piece of our business this fall,” Anderson said. Meanwhile, Five Below’s net income in Q2 ended July 29 rose 71% to $16.8 million as sales increased 28.7% to $283.3 million on a 9.3% gain in same-stores. The company is forecasting sales in Q3 ending in October to be $241-$246 million on a 3-5% increase in same store sales, down from Q2 as spinner sales slow.


Five Below, Michael Romanko, EVP Merchandising, 215-546-7909

Dollar General to Complete Dollar Express Remodels by Late November

Dollar General plans to open 1,285 stores this year, including 1,000 new locations and 285 remodels, company executives told analysts. A portion of the remodels will be former Dollar Express stores, 285 of which Dollar General acquired from Sycamore Partners in June. Sycamore acquired the stores in 2015 from Dollar Tree, which sold them as part of an agreement to get Federal Trade Commission approval for its purchase of Family Dollar. Meanwhile, Dollar General opened its third DGX store in Philadelphia, PA, a 3,400-square-foot format designed for urban markets.

Dollar General’s net income in Q2 ended July 29 declined 3% to $294.7 million as the chain took a $5.4 million charge for lease terminations tied to the Dollar Express stores. The chain’s revenue rose 7% to $5.8 billion on a 2.6% increase in same-store sales.


Dollar General, Jason Reiser, Chief Merchandising Officer, 615-855-4000