The Retailer: Barbara Robinson

Barbara Robinson Category Manager – Apparel at Mothercare

barbara-robinsonAre licensed products considered an important element when a Retailer starts to build a range or is it still a new area that UK retailers are not separating?

It depends on the category – within Mothercare, it is a major consideration for categories dominated by licensed character options, such as – sleepwear, underwear, slippers, wellies, backpacks and umbrellas.

For other areas, such as outerwear and hosiery, where our customers buy into less licensed character product, it is not necessarily a “secondary” consideration, or a lower priority – it is simply a smaller mix of our ranges.

How do you measure licensed against non -licensed products when range-building?
In the past licensed product would certainly have been an afterthought, more often than not delegated to junior members of the buying team as part of their training and development…

This is no longer the case, and although it can still be managed on a day-to-day basis by junior buyers, it is discussed and strategised by the whole team, including input from the merchandisers. Ranging the right licensed characters is as much a business decision, as any other aspect of range building. Succession planning for new characters is an important factor in these decisions, and it is important to balance off established, evergreen licenses with revitalising our offer. All our products are assessed and measured to the same commercial criteria.

For Mothercare, we also take into account our franchisees’ requirements, and are always on the lookout for licenses that translate well across the world. We actively offer them licensed characters specific to their requirements and customers that would not sell in the UK”.

There you have it- it’s all here is black and white.

If there are questions you want to raise, or comments you’d like to make – The Licensing Talk is here for you.

We would love to hear your thoughts.

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