AT THE MARKET — HGTV is shopping High Point Market this week, not for product but for partners.
The company’s representatives will be working the market to develop new licensing partnerships for its HGTV Home Collection brand, potentially across the full spectrum of home furnishings.
“We’re looking for product categories that are organic, a natural fit and make sense for the brand,” Carolann Dunn, Discovery’s vice president of consumer products and licensing told Furniture Today.
The network previously had a licensing partnership with Bassett Furniture, which expired in 2019, opening the door to new furniture partnerships as well as additional categories across home furnishings.
In outlining the types of partners the network is looking for, Dunn cited its existing agreement with Sherwin Williams for premium quality paints, currently distributed exclusively through Lowe’s home improvement centers. “That program has been around for 10 years, has constantly grown year-over-year and encompasses significant retail real estate and an online shop,” Dunn said. “That’s the model we’re looking for.”
She noted that HGTV conducts extensive research on its audience and its brand, and in extending the HGTV Home Collection brand into new areas it will look for partners that align with that vision.
“If a company is looking to execute a growth strategy, not looking to create a house of brands, come to us,” Dunn said. “We are where the consumer is looking for inspiration for the whole home. We build business with partners that endure.”
While the company has more detailed, closely held criteria on its licensing partnerships, Dunn noted that in general, there is a preference for companies with well-established manufacturing and sourcing capabilities, a record of proven success and strong product design, development and sourcing capabilities.
“We also place a premium on impeccable ethics and compliance standards,” she noted. “We need to have visibility through the supply chain to make sure the products and working conditions meet ethical standards.”
In terms of where the HGTV brand plays in the marketplace, Dunn described HGTV consumers as upscale, well-educated women, typically aged 25 to 54 who own their own homes. “She has disposable income, she’s inspired by the network, and with that inspiration she has true purchase intent,” Dunn said.
While the brand has applicability across a broad range of home categories, Dunn noted that the goal at the outset is to work with companies that have broad manufacturing and sourcing capabilities rather than parsing out the license to myriad category specialists.
“We are very selective. We say no more than we say yes,” Dunn explained. “It’s not about a flash in the pan it’s about building businesses that endure. It’s quality vs. quantity.”