The Scott Brothers find a home at Kohl’s; licensing agents add new brands to their rosters; Michaels expands kids crafts; Amazon continues physical store strategy; and other licensing news highlights of the week.

Licensing, marketing and retail expert/opinion leader Tony Lisanti, provides insight and perspective for the top headlines of the week. “Licensing and Merchandising Report” is a must read for top execs who want objective, straightforward and authoritative analysis. 

Kohl’s Partners for New Home Brand, Apparel Brand

Scott Brothers Global—the company created by HGTV stars and twins Drew and Jonathan Scott and one of the fastest growing licensors over the past two years—has inked a deal with Kohl’s for an exclusive home collection. The new brand, Scott Living, will debut in fall 2019. The lifestyle collection will include modern home basics and décor, furniture, bedding and bath and kitchen decor.

This is a huge opportunity and strategic initiative for Kohl’s for several reasons. It will strengthen its overall brand portfolio, create a new brand with the potential for huge sales and long-term growth and enhance customer loyalty. Scott Living has the potential to be as popular and successful as the Food Network brand, which Kohl’s has merchandised for more than a decade. In addition to Food Network, Scott Living also joins other Kohl’s home brands including Simply Vera Vera Wang, LC Lauren Conrad, Sonoma Goods for Life and The Big One.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Scott brothers to offer home brand Scott Living to customers nationwide,” said Doug Howe, Kohl’s chief merchandising officer. “Home has been an incredibly strong category for Kohl’s and we know our customers will love the Scott Living collection. The addition of Scott Living reinforces our continued strategy to drive a constant pipeline of relevant new brands.”

“We are excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Kohl’s to create a lifestyle brand that allows families to outfit their homes with our exclusive furniture, bedding, bath, home décor, and more,” said Jonathan. “Scott Living incorporates modern, stylish home design without sacrificing the functionality and value we know families need, and we’re thrilled to work with Kohl’s to bring this to life for customers nationwide,” added Drew.

“Kohl’s is an incredible partner that has a strong connection and understanding of their customer and communities,” said Laura Aldrich, Scott Brothers Global executive vice president of licensing. “Together with our world class licensees, we are building a collection rooted in family, quality and trust that Kohl’s customers will love.”

Kohl’s also added a new private label brand targeted to the women’s plus-size market. EVRI, which stands for Easy, Versatile, Real (Value) and Inspiring, will feature a deep assortment of modern wardrobe essentials and relevant fashion wear in sizes 0X-4X in tops and 14W-30W in bottoms. EVRI will launch in Spring 2019.

Top Agents Add to Brand Rosters

LMCA Champions Foreman

LMCA has been named exclusive agent for the George Forman brand throughout the U.S., Europe and Asian markets.

The George Foreman grill has been one of the most successful products in housewares category and the former heavyweight boxing champion now has the opportunity to further extend his brand name based on his huge popularity and recognition not only in the U.S. but also in many international markets.

Foreman Digital LLC and LMCA plan to extend the longstanding brand into various new categories including food and beverage, vitamins and supplements, men’s care and grooming, fitness wearables, clothing and footwear.

“George Foreman is trusted worldwide and the brand is synonymous with reliability, innovation and convenience,” said LMCA president, Alan Kravetz. “We are excited to bring the George Foreman brand into new categories and spaces that reflect the quality consumers expect from a George Foreman product.”

Beanstalk Nails Craftsman

Based on its long-standing relationship with Stanley Black & Decker, Beanstalk will now represent the company’s Craftsman brand, which it acquired from Sears last year for $900 million.

Over the years, Beanstalk has expanded the Stanley Black & Decker brand into one of the most successful licensing programs in the hardware category and corporate brand licensing. The company now has more than 70 licensees worldwide with more than $1.5 billion in retail sales.

Based on its track record, Beanstalk has a huge opportunity to expand Craftsman’s licensing program and achieve similar success it has experienced with Stanley Black & Decker.

Last month, Stanley Black & Decker unveiled 1,200 tools across various categories.

The Craftsman brand has recently launched at Lowe’s, ACE, Amazon and other top retailers.

Beanstalk’s president and CEO Allison Ames said, “We are truly honored to represent one of the most famous and recognized brands today. Everyone has a Craftsman story. It is an iconic brand that speaks to American values. Building on Craftsman’s longstanding reputation with both core and new consumers through fresh and innovative products will be one of the most exciting brand launches in the second half of 2018.”

NFLPA Supports Health Network

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and its OneTeam Collective have partnered for another innovative opportunity for fans.

NFLPA’s latest deal gives Fan Health Network (FHN) the rights to use current NFL players to facilitate engagement and participation in corporate wellness challenges.

The social app was founded by former Minnesota Viking’s star Robert Smith to inspire healthier lifestyles. FHN will feature select active NFL players that will provide tips, dietary advice, workouts and motivation to pursue healthy lifestyles through various tools.

“Athletes are the best natural ambassadors for promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and our players’ involvement with Fan Health Network can tremendously impact the wellness of many different groups of people including company workforces,” said Ahmad Nassar, president of NFL Players Inc. and board chairman of the OneTeam Collective. “To have world-class athletes join together and devote their efforts to inspiring people to be fit and healthy is central to our mission of transforming fan experiences.”

FHN is the ninth NFLPA partner secured through the OneTeam Collective and the first partnership with a company founded by a former NFL player.

Michaels Expands Kids Crafts, Toys

Specialty crafts retailer Michaels, in an effort to appeal to former TRU consumers, is expanding its assortment of creative toys and activity products and rebranding the effort as “Michaels Kids.”

The new in-store section, which will merchandise hundreds of products with stronger and more organized displays, bodes well for licensed brands such as Crayola, LEGO, Play-doh, Nerf, Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Orb. In addition, Michaelskids.com will offer thousands of exclusive products.

This is a smart move for Michaels which recognizes the opportunity to expand its business, become more relevant for parents, and grab a piece of the retail sales left behind by the liquidation of TRU.

“One of the most powerful tools to inspire creativity is playtime, and we are proud to make it easier for customers to find toys, activities and supplies that are engaging and family-friendly,” said Chuck Rubin, chairman and CEO. “At Michaels, our goal is to be the preferred omnichannel destination for creative play, and we’re committed to making it easy for parents to provide their kids with more mindful, screen-free fun.”

Michaels will a host a kickoff event at stores nationwide on October 6, featuring a scavenger hunt, toy giveaways and pumpkin decorating demonstrations, a 20% off coupon, free Kids Club passes and other online specials.

Amazon Opens GH Lab and Four-Star Store

Following the news last week that 3,000 “Go” stores will open over the next several years, Amazon continues to test other new store concepts. Amazon has partnered with Hearst’s Good Housekeeping brand to launch the GH Lab store at Mall of America and the retailer opened a new store in Manhattan that features its four-star rated products.

The first Pop-up Shop & Digital Boutique will feature more than 40 products that represent the lab’s best across several categories including wellness, beauty, lifestyle, smart home, kitchen, and toys.

Featured brands include: Affresh, Ballerini, Casabella, Cole & Mason, Cybex, Dyson, ecobee, Ember, Erin Condren, Eucerin, Fishers Finery, Garnier, HoMedics, Innit, Instant Pot, iRobot, Joule, Joy Mangano, Kenmore, Marriott, Microsoft, Moen, Nespresso, Olay, OSMO, OtterBox, PackIt, Panasonic, Poo-Pourri, Riedel, Ring, Samsung, simplehuman, Simple Pleasures, Singing Machine, Spin Master Toys, thinkbaby, thinksport, Thoughtfully, Tile, tulo, Vitamix, WE, Wine Away, Xbox and Zwilling.

In addition to the 2,800-square-foot GH Lab store, which will be open through year-end, Good Housekeeping launched an online boutique on Amazon.com.

“We’re beyond excited to work with Mall of America and Amazon to bring the power of the Good Housekeeping Labs to life through a new retail experience,” said Jane Francisco, editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping. “Each day, our expert scientists test hundreds of products to ensure they perform as promised and the GH Lab helps take the guesswork out of shopping. This innovative store showcases a genius selection of products for the home, new technologies and inspired holiday gifts. Everything in the store has been carefully curated and vetted by GH experts—so shoppers will not only be excited by the fabulous finds but leave with confidence in their purchases.”

Amazon also opened a new store in New York City that features its most popular products across key categories including electronics, travel, books, and games as well as amazon’s popular private label brands.

A Wall Street Journal report stated: “Amazon has seen the future of retail and it looks something like a refreshed version of a Brookstone store, the gadget purveyor that filed for bankruptcy last month.”

That’s not the most flattering description or endorsement considering the demise of Brookstone, but the format is exciting and innovative. It further exemplifies Amazon’s commitment to retail innovation as well as its ability to showcase its products and test new formats.

Other deals of the week

• J. Crew and Nickelodeon partnered for ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ kids Collection based on the new series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

• kathy ireland worldwide partnered with CBD Consumer Products for cannabis products that will be marketed and sold through KIWW’s health & wellness brand.

Stat of the Week

According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, Americans will spend a record $9.1 billion this year, up 8.3% from last year’s previous record of $8.4 billion. According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.4 billion on costumes (purchased by 69% of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on candy (95%), another $2.7 billion on decorations (72%) and $410 million on greeting cards (37%).

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