International licensing director Richard Woolf tells us about the firm's plans for the new art-based property.

Withit prepares Kitties in the Cities for 2015 launch

Firstly, can you tell us the story behind the brand?

Kitties in the Cities brings you a beautiful set of nine cat characters, based in exciting cities around the world. Our key kitten character, called Tabby, travels to each city to learn from the more savvy cat living there, about those places. Through the launch of the website this summer, you can, via Tabby, explore and learn about these places. It’s like, young girl learning the do’s and don’ts from her older sister as she travels the globe.

How did the brand perform in 2013?

The brand is new and will be officially launching at retail in 2015.

How many licensees does it have to date, and in which categories?

We have signed four licensees, for fashion, bags and stationery.

What are some of the best performing products?

As the launch is not until 2015 we won’t have results yet, however we envisage that clothing and accessories will be the leading products followed closely by stationery and gifts.

Are you looking to sign more licensees this year – if so which categories are you targeting?

Indeed we are. We will be looking to replicate deals in other territories so seeking clothing deals. Internationally, we already have covered France, Spain, Germany, France and Benelux, so we are looking for UK partners. We are also looking at cards and gifts and some fashion bags, plus cosmetics and travel related products.

Do you have any special marketing initiatives or promotional activity planned for 2014?

We are introducing the Kitties in the Cities website which will have strong focus on geography and travel, and will be interactive and semi educational. We are also looking at the travel industry including airlines and hotels for promotional opportunities. Social media and mobile phone apps will also be available.

What has the reaction from retail been like to the brand?

Initial presentations have been well received and once our licensees have samples they and ourselves will be presenting to various retailers across Europe and in the US.

What would you most like to achieve with the brand by the end of 2014?

We would like to have more licensees on board in various product categories, especially in the UK for a cohesive launch in 2015.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We recently presented this property at the apparel show (Magic) in Vegas and the response was very positive from potential licensees. This is important for the property as the essence is about travel and therefore we are keen to penetrate globally.

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