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John Carolan, head of buying, childrenswear at Sainsbury's gives Licensing.biz a glimpse into the relationship between the supermarket and Magic Light Pictures.

Sainsbury’s John Carolan on why the supermarket is a perfect fit for The Gruffalo

What makes Sainsbury’s a good fit for The Gruffalo brand?

The Gruffalo is a brand that has great history, and one with great resonance and parental approval in terms of fun for their child, while learning to read and also great storylines and graphics. Its brand values are wholesome and never anything but the right book for children to be associated with.

To this point, the brand values of The Gruffalo mirror that of Sainsbury’s and Tu clothing and are assimilated in that our customers are very much focussed on doing the right thing for their children in respect of what they read and indeed wear, always focussing on their child’s education and ensuring that what they wear is both appropriate and fun.

The brand has the added advantage of bringing immense differentiation to our Tu clothing brand range, both in terms of graphic handwriting and the distinctive script and wording. Together these have been much loved by our customers looking to clothe their children in the Gruffalo brand.

What is the relationship between Sainsbury’s and Magic Light like when it comes to the Gruffalo?

The relationship is indeed one of the hallmarks of our success with The Gruffalo brand.

The closeness in which Sainsbury’s works with Magic Light from range design conception through to approvals and in-store marketing ideas is a great example of true teamwork and the desire to build a strong and long lasting Premium brand statement.

How do you and Magic Light ensure The Gruffalo lines remain fresh?

Using The Gruffalo’s fabulous style guide, combined with our marketplace expertise and knowledge, we believe we have combined well as a team every season to bring fresh new ideas, concepts and ranges to the customer. 

What Gruffalo products have sold well for you?

Every category from newborn to toddlerboy and girl as well as nightwear has performed well for us on The Gruffalo.

Why do you think The Gruffalo has remained popular for 15 years?

A wholesome fun story with individual, fabulous graphics from the picture book, combined with great TV support at Christmas have just kept the brand strong through all these years.

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