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European retail trends: discounters, private labels growing, hypermarkets still dominate.

Planet Retail predicts that discounters will be the fastest-growing retail channel in Europe over the next five years, although hypermarkets will maintain the largest share.

In a presentation at Brand Licensing Europe, the company's Milos Ryba noted that the largest European discounters, Lidl and Aldi, are both adding licensing to their strategic mix. Lidl joined with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, in its first retail exclusive partnership, to carry Man of Steel products in 10,000 stores in 24 countries, while Aldi--traditionally very conservative--has started carrying licensed foods, including Smurfs products.

On the hypermarket side, conversely, retailers are developing their own characters to compete with licensed properties. Auchan is expanding its Rik and Rok characters into new product categories and territories, while Casino has developed a character Crazy-Doo for products and mobile apps. And Carrefour and Disney are parting ways, Ryba says, ending their extensive DTR partnership this year.

Ryba also points out that retailer private labels are expanding, with some going to five tiers (from superdiscount to superpremium), as opposed to three (good, better, and best). This could offer opportunities for licensors, especially on the superpremium end.

In Russia. X5 co-branded its private label products with Fox's Ice Age 3 and 4 on 50 food and nonfood products, seeing sales growth of 5% in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, even as sales for the chain overall declined.

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Publication:Licensing Letter
Date:Nov 18, 2013
Words:234
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