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Thinking inside the box

The proposition of licensed room décor ranges can be a bit tricky for retailers. Besides the issue of how much space these products take up on the sales floor, one of the biggest challenges is keeping all items in stock so consumers can buy the complete set.
November 1, 2007

The proposition of licensed room décor ranges can be a bit tricky for retailers. Besides the issue of how much space these products take up on the sales floor, one of the biggest challenges is keeping all items in stock so consumers can buy the complete set.

One company offering up a solution is New York-based Delta Children’s Products, whose Room in a Box concept rolls all the bedroom basics (bed, headboard, table and chair sets and storage units) into one compact and self-contained package. Since launching at mass retail and online in the US, Spain and Italy in the fall, Delta has applied a host of licenses to the unique product, mainly stemming from deals with Disney (Cars, Disney Princess, High School Musical, Hannah Montana) and Nick (Dora, Diego). And the line is meeting internal expectations so far.

Besides addressing retailers’ real estate and stocking issues, Room in a Box appeals to licensors because it promises that each purchase will deliver a fully branded space in that child’s home environment. And though he wouldn’t divulge exact numbers, Delta’s president of sales and marketing, Joe Shamie, says it saves Delta a bit in overall packaging costs since it’s all in one box. But each item inside the box is separately packaged to make identification easier for the consumer. Priced between US$100 and US$120, the cost-effective product appeals to thrifty consumers, but it also attracts a wider swath of shoppers looking for one-stop shopping convenience. And of course, kids get the characters they love in their rooms.

While the box is a bit on the big side (it stands about two feet wide and three feet tall), Shamie says it actually takes up less linear footage in stores and is ultimately less expensive to handle, ship and keep in stock since the retailer is dealing with one instead of multiple SKUs.

For next year, Shamie says the company plans to add more pieces to Room in a Box, including additional storage options, desks and bookshelves. He’s also looking for marketing options beyond print ads and is exploring partnerships with retailers.

As for seeking out new licenses, he prefers TV-based franchises, but adds that any popular properties (such as High School Musical and Hanna Montana, which are best-sellers) are worth considering. Shamie will also be at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany in February to scope out expansion opportunities in new territories.

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