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Fisher-Price deals bringing up baby

BY CSA STAFF

Fisher-Price is extending its presence in the apparel category with two newly announced licensing deals last month. The company has partnered with Dream Apparel to create a brand new line of sleepwear for infants and toddlers, including one-piece and two-piece pajama sets, as well as nightgowns and robes. Additionally, Fisher-Price announced a new brand alliance with Mayfair that features layettes, including onesies, booties and hats. Both the Dream and Mayfair product will be available at select Sears stores; the Mayfair product will be available in September for average retail price points around $18. The Dream product will hit select Sears shelves in November, with an average retail price point of $25.

“Fisher-Price is a trusted brand with more than 75 years of positive relationships with parents and children alike,” said Lesley Levenson, vp of Fisher-Price Consumer Products. “Now more than ever, kids can experience their favorite Fisher-Price brands in fun and creative ways throughout their entire day and night.”

Both apparel lines will use the colorful Fisher-Price “Animals of the Rain-forest” design, which is a popular theme across the brand’s bedding and baby gear product lines. Fisher-Price is capitalizing on this theme this year by teaming up with other licensees to create several other products with the rainforest motif. Greatech Vision, for example, will create a new line of sunglasses; Regent/Baby King will make a new line of feeding items; Simplicity for Children will make a play-yard and a bassinet; Blue Ridge will make travel accessories; Catini will produce a line of diaper bags; Springs Global will make a new line of bedding and Tollylots will create a new line of “Little Mommy” doll accessories.

Given the brand’s firm presence in the world of an average pre-schooler, the company’s various licensed partnerships make sense, especially for infant and toddler apparel, its licensees say.

“A firm with the brand equity and history of Fisher-Price, with its dedication to all things pre-school, is a natural fit for baby apparel,” said Mitchell Tawil, Mayfair’s evp and national sales manager. “Mayfair will align its long-established core expertise with that of Fisher-Price. The result will be a brand with credibility, longevity and exceptional functionality.”

Fisher-Price has grown quite a bit as a brand since its humble beginnings in 1930. At that time, its original founders, Herman Fisher, Irving Price and Helen Schelle, introduced the brand at the International Toy Fair in New York City with a collection of 16 wooden toys. Most notably since then, Mattel acquired Fisher-Price in 1993, a merger that allowed most of the brand’s growth internationally and with new product extensions.

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Hooker names upholstery head

BY CSA STAFF

MARTINSVILLE, Va. Hooker Furniture has appointed Alan Cole to the new position of evp of upholstery, in which he will oversee the operations of Hooker Furniture subsidiaries Bradington-Young and Sam Moore Furniture.

In addition to overseeing the operations of Sam Moore and Bradington-Young, Cole will help develop further growth plans for Hooker’s imported accent chair product line. He also will be involved in strategic planning for HFC and will oversee any future acquisitions of upholstered furniture operations.

 

Cole, who has held senior executive positions at leading upholstered furniture companies including Broyhill, Berkline and Schnadig, “has the expertise in upholstery that uniquely qualifies him to help us realize one of our strategic objectives, which is to become a more important and complete upholstered furniture resource,” said Paul Toms Jr., chairman, ceo and president of Hooker Furniture.

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Best Buy selects new ad agency

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy announced Thursday that it has chosen BBDO New York as its advertising agency for the Best Buy brand. The selection of BBDO follows a multi-month-long review for the Best Buy brand account, which was previously handled internally.

“We believe this partnership with BBDO New York will enable us to support the company’s aggressive growth goals and to build and enhance our capabilities,” said Ruby Anik, Best Buy’s senior vp of marketing communications. “We are excited to leverage BBDO’s creative expertise, brand experience and spirit of collaboration in further differentiating Best Buy as the consumer’s trusted guide to technology solutions.”

BBDO New York’s scope of work will include account planning, ad strategy and execution, and media and consumer connection planning. Estimated billings, as measured by media spending, will be $170 to $200 million. The firm will begin work immediately on internally-focused projects supporting Best Buy’s brand position.

 

In addition, Best Buy will expand its relationship with Crispin, Porter + Bogusky beyond Geek Squad to partner on business development and in-store activation opportunities for the Best Buy brand.

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