VA LicensingV&A took home the LIMA International Licensing award during the 2017 Licensing Expo.

For the third time, the Victoria and Albert Museum have been voted Best Art and Design Brand in the International Licensing Awards.

Announced last week at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, the 2017 LIMA International Licensing Awards recognizes outstanding performance by a brand in the global licensing marketplace throughout the previous year.

As one of the world’s leading museums of art and design, the V&A’s diverse collections continue to inspire excellence in design and drive and excite the next wave of designers, retailers and manufacturers. Its licensing categories include homeware, apparel, jewelry, accessories, stationery, fabric and gifts from 75 licensees worldwide in the United States, Europe, Australia, Japan, China and South Korea.

JACHSLOUNGEHOUSE, a division of Bentex Group, will develop men’s and women’s underwear, robes and slippers. 

JACHS New York has partnered with LOUNGEHOUSE, a division of Bentex Group, to develop a collection of underwear, robes and slippers under the brands JACHS NY, JACHS Girlfriend and The Original JACHS Manufacturing Co., featuring the brand’s designs.

Merchant Factors, JACHS’ exclusive licensing agent, brokered the deal marking the brand’s expansion into licensing, which will be distributed to department and specialty stores across North America, as well as online retailers. The collection will hit retail shelves Holiday 2017.

“We are thrilled to have found such a creative and hardworking partner in LOUNGEHOUSE, JACHS New York President and CEO Hayati Banastey said in a release. “We’re very encouraged by the team they’ve built and their knowledge of the industry.”

When the top executives in the music industry want to know the latest charts or the recent moves by artists like Ed Sheeran and Chance the Rapper, Billboard is the one they turn to. Read more about Billboard here and see several of our exciting gifts and gadgets below. 

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Billboard Water Resistant Wireless Speaker

Kick off the festival season with Billboard Music’s first line of Electronic Accessories. Billboard has created a line of Bluetooth speakers that will up your music game! The collection features bold-colored, water resistant speakers that are a must have for all summertime pool parties. 


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 Island Necklace

The Original Beach Sand Jewelry Company® uses sand, earth and elements from your region - or your customer’s favorite destinations - to create a custom line of Experiential Jewelry™ for your store. We stock over 3,300 locations in our Sandbank, or you can send in your own.

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Sunburst Bracelet

Let us design a custom line of jewelry for your store. Fill your Dune Jewelry with sand, earth or crushed elements from your region, or your customer’s favorite destinations. Live for the moment, then take it with you.


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Animal Jam Pet Stop Pals

These Pet Stop Pals love to dress up! Mix and match accessories for a Jam-tastic look. Pet Stop Pals includes one scratch-off code that unlocks exclusive content in the hit online game Animal Jam. Collect them all and play wild at Animal Jam is created in association with National Geographic and is free to play.


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Animal Jam Jungle Selfie 2-Piece Sleepwear Set

Animal Jam is the No. 1 online social game for girls. Be part of the excitement by wearing the official Animal Jam sleepwear collection with vibrant colors and cool graphics. This pajama set is perfect for sleeping and lounging.


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Beat Bugs: Sing Along

Experience the magic of The Beatles, but with a whole new spin! Each song is woven in with gorgeous animations set around five young friends. Animated interactive music videos let you experience each song and record your own voice. Available this August on iTunes and GooglePlay Appstores.


See more New & Notable products here. 

ThinkstockPhotos 532775917Using IoT, endless aisle strategies and other solutions will be critical in helping traditional retailers level the playing field with their digital-native competitors. By Gary Gilmer

The retailers that are the best at innovation will be the ones that dont just survive, but thrive.

The retail landscape is ever changing. From the old country store, to mail order catalogs, to big box stores, the retailers that succeed are those that never stop innovating. The most recent shift has been the emergence and dominance of online retailers. Those that werent able to evolve are now paying the price.

To thrive, retailers will need to innovate - not just online, but on their own turf. Amazon already opened brick and mortar bookstores and is now planning to open other stores for (heavy) items such as furniture and appliances. Offline-native companies' experience and organization will give them real advantages over digital-native newcomers, but to keep the pace they will need to do more.

Two fundamental areas for reinvention are the customer experience and insight into shopper behavior, via interactive kiosks that enable endless aisle strategies and in-store data collection and analytics tools, respectively.

Endless aisle strategies

The endless aisle traditionally offers items that are not currently in stock. But it also could help retailers make the most of limited physical space and managing inventory effectively. Interactive kiosks, for example, enable retailers to offer merchandise not available on site, while also giving customers the same ease and variety of options as online shopping. At the same time, retailers can still leverage the tangible assets that a website never could.

Endless aisle interactive kiosks could even change what tomorrows brick and mortar looks like. If retailers were freed from the constraints of maintaining physical inventories on-site, while still offering a wide variety of goods, they could open smaller, low-overhead storefronts that combine the best of both online and offline worlds in new ways.

IoT Meets Actionable Data

Perhaps more important are strategies to gain insight to make better decisions. Traditional ways of gathering data, such as loyalty programs, have limitations. And UPC codes dont provide data on why sales drop or jump beyond anecdotal evidence such as an item being on sale. Newer methodologies like mobile apps require shoppers to opt in, which can be problematic.

What if there was a way to use software and sensors to collect in-store data to provide insights on the way consumers shop? Thats the idea behind connected products. By using anonymized data collected at the point of decision, sellers are able to determine why a products sales were higher or lower in a given time period. They can tell what in-store marketing is effective, when its effective, what demographic groups its effective with, and even how many sales are being lost due to a lack of inventory.

This is actionable data that can change how a seller engages with shoppers and gets its products to market. Using technology at point of sale will empower sellers to make better decisions, sell more products, and decrease waste.

By embracing technologies that collect and analyze in-store data, sellers can glean valuable insights into shoppers' habits. The data can then be used to personalize what drives greater engagement at the point of decision, whether thats online or brick and mortar.

For example, Mondelez International, a CPG company with brands as Nabisco, Trident, and Cadbury, sought a way to track and engage shoppers during the purchase decision journey, with the goals of improving in-store sales and better understanding the journey from attraction to purchase.

To move past these challenges, Mondelez engaged a technology consulting firm to craft a custom solution - a "smart shelf." This collects rich data about which products are performing well, as well as why products are selling. The shelf also gives insight into a shoppers journey when purchasing an item and, if the sale did not take place, shows where a disconnect happened. Mondelez now can aggregate and analyze this information for itself and its store partners to fix any disconnect by engaging with shoppers to encourage the purchase.

Modernizing Operations to Drive Growth

Its not enough to get your feet wet with digital transformation because the organization that doesnt boldly reinvent itself may not be here tomorrow. For retailers, this means innovating the shopper experience and gaining more insight while doing so. Endless aisle and data gathering at point of sale are two new ways to get there.

Gary Gilmer is a partner at Clarity Consulting, a craft technology company that creates custom solutions to solve complex business problems. Gilmer can be reached at

 level 5The Snack World™, The Layton Series™ and YO-KAI WATCH™ will take center stage at the upcoming expo.

LEVEL-5 abby Inc. will showcase their entire portfolio of children’s entertainment properties, including The Snack World™, The Layton Series™ and YO-KAI WATCH™ at the 2017 Licensing Expo. Held at the Mandalay Bay Convention, the expo will convene from May 23-25 in Las Vegas.

LEVEL-5 abby is unique among kids entertainment companies in today’s digital world because all their content is created specifically for video games giving the company a strong platform to build a complete franchise.

The Snack World is the newest cross-media project from LEVEL-5 abby that will be featured at the show. Created specifically for a global audience and planned to be bigger than YO-KAI WATCH, The Snack World is a cool, tech-infused fantasy story that follows the magical adventures of a boy named Chup and his comrades. New CGI animation has just been released in Japan, and a full product line will be released in July including a video game from Nintendo®;  iOS and Android mobile games; a toy line and comic books.

The highly successful The Layton Series puzzle mystery games will expand with the newest game from LEVEL-5 abby, LAYTON’S MYSTERY JOURNEY: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy, launching globally on mobile platforms on July 20 with a Nintendo video game to follow in the fall. This will be the first mobile launch for The Layton Series games.

YO-KAI WATCH is a cross-media universe, following the hilarious misadventures of an average human boy and his involvement with the mischievous and invisible Yo-kai all around him. YO-KAI WATCH fun will continue globally with a full multi-media campaign from LEVEL-5 abby including new animation, and new games from Nintendo.

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