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NPD expands ground-breaking French POS service

NPD France had to start from scratch when it set out to track sales of licensed goods in categories beyond toys for the first time in the country's history. And just over a year since the late-2006 launch of its License POS Indicator, the market researcher is getting ready to expand the service's scope and tackle the measurement of sales performance in new categories, including nursery products, bed linens, stationery and video games.
January 1, 2008

NPD France had to start from scratch when it set out to track sales of licensed goods in categories beyond toys for the first time in the country’s history. And just over a year since the late-2006 launch of its License POS Indicator, the market researcher is getting ready to expand the service’s scope and tackle the measurement of sales performance in new categories, including nursery products, bed linens, stationery and video games.

Licensor demand spurred NPD’s decision to finally start tracking merch sales in a market that had historically been too small and diverse on the retail front, says sales manager Delphine Cosserat. In other words, the long-standing hole in the available data was just getting too big in a market that’s been on a bit of a growth spurt in recent years.

Cosserat started gathering point-of-sale info on licensed goods from French hypermarkets, such as Carrefour, in just two categories – bikes and costumes. Apparel (daywear, nightwear and underwear), shoes and back-to-school products were added last January, and NPD is aiming to make data on the newer categories available by Q4 this year.

As for IP coverage, the License POS Indicator sticks to following the performance of the top-50 licenses at any given time. And according to the most recent report published last September, Disney stood as the number-one licensor, while Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer claimed the title of top license, followed by Spider-Man and Winnie the Pooh. The recent proliferation of cross-merchandised retail displays and coordinated in-store boutiques, which are commonplace in larger territories like the US and UK, is also giving licensed product sales a boost, says Cosserat.

The service is available on an annual subscription basis, with three delivery dates: May, back-to-school and December. The full reports include monthly info on license performance, market share, the top-100 SKUs, average sale price of goods in each category, the number of products available per license, and weighted distribution.

The data’s cost is calculated on a per-category basis, with subcription fees for smaller categories (such as bikes) sitting at US$13,000 per year, ranging up to US$22,000 for larger, more complicated fields like apparel.

NPD is making the data available to licensors and licensees working in the territory. However, Cosserat, her US counterparts and a third-party in-store auditing company are working on rolling out the French model to other territories in the coming months.

That being said, there’s still plenty to do in France. Cosserat warns that the data on the French market isn’t perfect yet, and there’s still a margin of error. But NPD is ironing out the kinks and because no one had a full scope of the market before the service came along, she says licensors are by and large pleased with the effort thus far.

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