Demand Grows For Licensed Stationery Products

A recent survey revealed that half of UK retailers plan to boost branded product lines this year.

A survey of 60 UK retailers, working across toys and entertainment, apparel, gifts and accessories, home goods and sports, conducted at the Licensing for Retail Day earlier this month (run by Brand Licensing Europe and Licensing International) has provided fresh insight into the role licensing plays in their business strategies.

The survey revealed that retailers are increasingly aware of the benefits of operating a brand licensing programme, specifically, the opportunities it presents to:

  • Diversify categories (33%)
  • Acquire new customers (26%)
  • Increase customer loyalty (19%)


Furthermore, 80% of those retailers confirmed the number of branded/licensed products they sell will increase (52%) or stay the same (28%) this year. Only 3% were forecasting a decline.

“It’s so pleasing to see more and more UK retailers understanding and enjoying the benefits of brand licensing as they increase the number of brands and categories they work with to design and deliver products that consumers (new and old) love,” said Brand Licensing Europe’s head of retail Laura Freedman-Dagg.

Portico Designs, whose licenses include Sara Miller, Joules and William Morris, is seeing a significant growth in licensed branded product across all stationery categories. Charlie Czul, sales and marketing director says: “What stands out to the consumer is those products that have a strong brand identity and quality. A great example of this is Sara Miller London’s latest collection Savannah. Inspired by Sara’s travels, this collection is awash with rich textures, vivid colours and embellished gold details. The brand is gaining further global recognition as we launch the collection into Barnes & Noble stores across North America.”

The survey also found that the brands retailers are most excited about working with in 2024 skew heavily towards toys, preschool and kidult with Hello Kitty, Bluey, Furby, Peppa Pig, PAW Patrol, Paddington, Squishmallows, Transformers, LEGO and Poppy’s Playtime all being mentioned.

Above: New designs for Hello Kitty for Blueprint Collections.
Above: New designs for Hello Kitty for Blueprint Collections.

This is good news for businesses, such as Blueprint Collections, with its growing range of preschool, kids, tween and teen brands. Lisa Shand, managing director of Blueprint comments: “Licenses are performing well in the stationery category. Bluey is working well and growing in the preschool sector, Pokemon and Barbie are both strong in the kids area and for the collectible tween/teen market Pusheen and Squishmallows are great. We are just re-launching Hello Kitty now and early indications show that she is on the come-back trail, the activity around her 50th anniversary has created a real buzz.”

Growth is on the cards too for Puckator, with Chiara Caparco, digital marketing manager commenting: “After the challenges of the last few years, 2024 is shaping up to be a bumper year at Puckator with new products and new licenses. After the success last year of our top-selling Minecraft pen, we have just introduced a second design which has already proved to be a hit with our customers. The new design and expansion of our Minecraft range taps into the ever-expanding gaming market.”

Above: Minecraft is a popular license for Puckator.
Above: Minecraft is a popular license for Puckator.

Chiara sums up by saying: “In an era where personal expression is key, stationery isn’t just about utility; it’s about storytelling and connection, and our stationery collection looks to blending nostalgia and innovation, and will continue to bring fresh on-trend products to our customers in the future.”

Top: The new Sara Miller Savannah collection from Portico Designs.

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