2015 was a fantastic year for The Smiley Company, reflected in the recently published TOP150 Global Licensors list, as the world’s happiest company scaled this highly prestigious league table of global licensors from 114 in 2015 to 106 in 2016.
There are many good reasons for this growth:
- The business’s turnover grew by 5% YOY from 2014 (a growth of 57% since 2013)
- Retail sales grew in excess of $210 million
- Over 13 million Smiley products were sold
- The brand’s social media following increased to over 4.4 million engaged fans
The growth at retail was split between The Smiley Company’s 2 brands:
1) SmileyWorld, creators of the world’s first graphical Smileys, capitalised on the emojicon trend and saw major growth with turnover at retail exceeding $140 million, with huge successes in: apparel, where 3.2 million units were sold in the calendar year; in FMCG, where more than 10 major licensees signed to the brand’s hugely successful ‘Taste Happiness’ concept bringing distribution to some of the world’s leading supermarket chains; and in BTS & Gifts, gaining significant retail exposure throughout Europe with major licensees including Nici, Herlitz and Lannoo. Publishing highlights included licensee Dragon d’Or’s parent company Grund signing a global distribution deal off the back of selling 500,000 books in France alone, and the addition of book deals in Italy, the Netherlands and Australia.
2) Smiley. Evergreen hero brand and icon of popular culture Smiley enjoyed another amazing year, with the global happiness trend ensuring massive brand visibility and fashion collaborations with prestigious brands, including Moschino, Fendi and Anya Hindmarch keeping the brand in the spotlight for buyers and press across the world. The brand’s cult celebrity following continued to grow, with Katy Perry being outfitted in Smiley on her world tour, Nicki Minaj sporting Smiley in her ‘Feeling Myself’ video with Beyonce, and Robert Downey Jnr rocking a US Smiley on Independence Day. Smiley also enjoyed a stellar year on the high street with a selection of amazing DTR deals which included distribution through H&M in 61 countries and across 3,700 stores with YOY sales growth of 17% from 2014. Smiley Happy Collection continued to be a best-selling brand at Etam stores with distribution in over 3,500 stores that led to incremental sales of 10% between 2014-2015.