HGTV aims for 2010 launch of licensed line   

New York – Lifestyle programming force HGTV has retained brand licensing consultancy The Beanstalk Group to develop a line of HGTV home and garden products that are slated to arrive at retail in fall 2010.

“The brand represents all things home and garden,” said Beanstalk ceo Michael Stone. The focus will be on the HGTV brands itself, although some of the personalities from HGTV programming might be pulled into the mix “here and there,” he said.

The brand will be developed along two tracks: solution-oriented products and design-driven goods, the umbrella under which home textiles will fall. Beanstalk is pursuing solution products first and has a team in Vegas at the Home Builders Show this week to begin work on the licensing initiative.

HGTV will begin working on an esthetic for its design-oriented programs, said Stone. When licensees are in place, HGTV and Beanstalk will work with them to assure consistency across product categories and will update the design direction regularly.

While HGTV will consider retail exclusives, Stone noted the current environment adds risk to such arrangements. “You have retailers going out of business, licensees going out of business or in Chapter 11 and licensees reeling from lower than expected sales and looking for relief on their contracts,” he said. The situation has led to “some very creative dealmaking.”

The strategy is to get product ready to arrive in the market at a time when many believe retail will begin picking up again. “I tell our people not to let deals die on the vine in 2009 because of aggressive financial requirements. Focus on getting product to the markets.”

The HGTV cable network reaches more than 96 million U.S. households and attracts an average of 5 million unique visitors per month. HGTV celebrity decorators that currently have home textiles programs include Genevieve Gorder, who teamed with Springs Global earlier in the year for the Springmaid brand relaunch; and Candice Olson, who has an eponymous line produced by Design Works, JLA, Venus Home Fashions and Surya.

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