Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S26


COVER STORY

"

It's hard to argue
with a brand that has
already sold $2 billion
in product in under
two years.

"

* Underground Toys LLC, a maker of talking pens,
talking key chains, travel mugs and other drinkware,
storage containers, stress toys, wristbands, inflatables
and mobile device cases; and
* Hori USA Inc., a maker of Nintendo 3DS carrying
cases, game card cases and protective covers.
Securing interest from premiere licensees has not been
difficult, Rutherford notes. "It was just a matter of advising
these partners how successful the brand had been in Japan
in the past 18 months and sharing the comprehensive
content roll-out strategy for how we'll bring the brand to
North America," he says.

Retail Development
In addition to securing licensees,
Rutherford and his team are taking an
aggressive approach to retail development. "Senior Evolution licensing
and retail development executives
have led the charge to educate key
retailers in the industry from senior
management down and from category
buyers up, which has been critical to
retailers' understanding the size of the
prize and how it directly affects each
buyer's line of business," he says. "The
different lines of business at retail still
remain very segmented, and there's not
a lot of information sharing between
the various departments. Therefore, we
take the extra time to educate buyers
and divisional merchandise managers as
to what's happening across the store as
a whole."
Placing YO-KAI WATCH products
onto shelves that are already crowded
with licensed properties aimed at children can be a challenge. "We are edu26

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

November/December 2015

cating buyers as to what this opportunity is, showing them
this is an innovative product and convincing them this is a
property worth going on their shelf - one that will drive a
significant return on investment," Rutherford says.
The response from retailers thus far has been very positive, with Walmart, Target, Kmart/Sears, Toys R Us, Game
Spot, Hot Topic and many others showing enthusiasm for
the brand and its retail possibilities. "It's hard to argue with
a brand that has already sold $2 billion in product in under
two years," he adds.
Licensees and LEVEL-5 abby will assist retailers to
promote the brand within their stores. This includes providing merchandising displays and helping execute unique
cross-category product initiatives such as gift with purchase programs and multi category (front of store or endcap) product exposure, as well as securing in-store product
exclusives from key licensees.
LEVEL-5 abby, Evolution and all licensees are careful
not to overpromise specific results to retailers, but all involved feel the YO-KAI WATCH rollout strategy is careful and robust enough to be successful not only next year,
but for the next several years. "All the partners involved in
the franchise are looking at this opportunity as a long-term
brand initiative," he adds. O


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - SCover1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - SCover2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S3
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S4
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S5
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S6
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S7
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S8
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S9
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S10
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S11
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S12
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S13
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S14
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S15
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S16
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S17
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S18
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S19
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S20
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S21
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S22
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S23
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S24
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S25
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S26
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S27
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S28
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S29
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S30
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S31
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S32
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S33
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S34
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S35
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S36
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S37
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S38
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S39
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S40
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S41
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S51
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