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Smiley upbeat as 2018 success feeds into further growth this year

Published
today Jan 24, 2019
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The Smiley Company had good news this week as it said that last year was a strong one, despite the devastation seen across the retail sector. And while full 2018 results are still being prepared, a company spokesperson told us the first nine months of the year point to a healthy final figure.


Smiley x Lee Jeans



The UK-based company, which markets and licenses the Smiley imagery worldwide, said that its fashion ops were the top performers with “continued healthy growth” expected in 2019.

The company said it saw particularly good quarterly growth in Q3 (although it didn’t provide specific figures) with its TV and YouTube ad campaign providing a big boost, especially to its back-to-school product offer.

The campaign “tested very well in France during August and September” and “had a halo effect on all back-to-school sales, with quantitative surveys conducted before and after showing a +14 point increase in brand awareness and purchase intent for Smiley’s kids products.”

It “had an instant impact” on back-to-school programs at major French retail names Auchan, Casino, La Halle, Leclerc and Systeme U, which “were all sold out at 95% of their ranges, whilst Orchestra enjoyed +100% year-to-date growth for its Q3 collections,” the company said. 

The success of the campaign means Smiley will now repeat it in France and roll it out in Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Nordics, Spain and Netherlands in the coming year. It aims to reach 20 million kids aged between three and 12 years through 12,000 TV spots, and expects similar growth to 2018 for this year.

The company added that revenue for Smiley with “leading high street fashion retailers shows no sign of slowing down,” thanks to growth reported by Global Brands Group of 299%, across a variety of its entities including Sicem, Fashion Lab and TV Mania. 

And its Fashion UK ops enjoyed “another great quarter” on the back of collections launched through C&A and Primark while Q3 launches with La Halle, Lefties, Mango & Zara, coming shortly after launches with C&A, Orchestra and Reserved “continue to boost volume sales across Europe.”

Looking beyond Europe, the company said that its on-going Lee Jeans collab continues to yield results globally and was extended across multiple territories last year.

Lee Jeans owner VF said its China/Apac unit (which includes India) saw a 70% sell-through for AW18 after success earlier with its summer offer. A new 130th anniversary Lee Jeans collection with Smiley is in the pipeline for 2019.

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