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Hollander scales back bedding license pursuit

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, January 22, 2001

BOCA RATON, FL — In the wake of disappointing retail results, Hollander Home Fashions has elected to cut back its pursuit of major juvenile bedding licenses and focus more on in-house generated designs.

One of Hollander's top executives, Tom McCaffrey, vp of sales and marketing, was let go as a result of the decision.

The choice to scale back was made last month by Leo Hollander, chairman and ceo, and Jeff Hollander, president, of the bedding manufacturer, based here.

"We felt that the [major] license business was not really fitting in," said Leo Hollander. "We actually do better with our non-licensed stuff than with our licensed stuff. In fact, 80 percent of our juvenile business was driven by our non-licensed product."

Jeff said the Rocky and Bullwinkle license saw disappointing results while the Major League Baseball license saw only limited success.

However, the Raggedy Ann and Andy license has done well, as have the smaller licenses Todd Parr and Hank Player.

"To me, there's three types of juvenile patterns," Jeff Hollander said, "non-licensed; design licenses, which are the smaller licenses; and star licenses, which are the major ones.

"Right now, we're concerned about the place of star licenses in the retail landscape."

Both Hollanders cited the requirement of excessive royalties and significant guarantees by licensors as a reason for the company's decision. Finding the next 'hot' pattern and selling it to retailers, only to see it fall short of expectations was another frustrating aspect of the company's major licensing efforts.

"There's just too many misses for every hit," Jeff Hollander explained.

Although major licenses will not be actively pursued, licenses such as Hank Player and Todd Parr continue to be expanded as a result of their success for Hollander. Player now has three different lines, while a second Parr ensemble, "Best Friends," may be previewed during February's mini-market and will be formally introduced during spring market.

The company's decision to release McCaffrey, who worked extensively with licensors, was a direct result of Hollander's decision to scale back its licensing operations.

"Market situations change and companies adapt. It's especially unfortunate to lose a guy of the caliber of Tom McCaffrey," said Jeff.

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