When you see big movies next year, think Whitehouse Leisure – they’ve got a huge range of licensing deals for “big global brands” including Disney’s Lightyear. Jurassic World 3 and E.T. Phil Setter is clearly optimistic about the year ahead with his plush and redemption ranges selling rapidly. But he is still keeping watch on shipping rates and production times – a challenge tugging at the purse-strings of the entire industry – but it isn’t steering Whitehouse off course from what they describe as a ‘fantastic position’.
PHIL SETTER MANAGING DIRECTOR WHITEHOUSE LEISURE
Coinslot: A year that opened in lockdown, staggered through to reopening, via a supply chain crisis and ending with Omicron: how will you look back on 2021?
Phil Setter: Despite all the challenges that everyone has faced this year, as a company we can look back on 2021 with a lot of pride at how we all pulled together and with the support of our customers and suppliers, we have had a very strong year with a lot of positives.
The year ahead still poses a lot of challenges, especially with shipping rates and production times, but we’ve been presenting our 2022 ranges and with EAG, our Regional Showcases and Spring Fair all in the first two months, we’re in a fantastic position heading into the new year!
Coinslot: We’ve had five months since re-opening, what were your highlights of the year?
Phil Setter: Seeing our customers open their doors again was the biggest highlight and we were all so pleased to see it happen!
As soon as our customers started trading again, we were blown away at the huge level of demand from consumers and we sold out early on many key lines – luckily we have a huge offering and were able to offer alternatives and keep our customers stocked up.
We launched a lot of new licensed products for this year’s biggest movies across our plush and redemption ranges and these have sold incredibly well, which has been great to see considering a lot of new movies at the start of the year went straight to SVOD services.
Seeing the success of our existing ranges this year and our plans for growth in 2022, we have secured a lot of new licensing deals for big global brands including Disney’s Lightyear, Jurassic World 3, E.T, plus many more that we’re excited to announce and showcase in the new year.
Coinslot: 2021 has been a major challenge to the way our businesses operate. How have you risen to this challenge and what new developments are you introducing to rebuild and strengthen your operation?
Phil Setter: We have invested a lot of resource into launching our brand-new Eco Earth plush range in the new year and this is part of our commitment to become a more sustainable and environmentally conscious organisation.
This new range is made using 100 percent recycled outer fabrics, stuffing and packaging that is all FSC certified and something that we have proactively launched for the growing demand by customers.
For 2022 we will be launching a lot of new licensed and own-brand plush, toys and gifts across our extensive portfolio and we have been extremely busy all year developing these new collections and bringing high quality and innovative products to market.
Coinslot: What are you looking or hoping for in 2022 and what’s on your New Year’s wish list?
Phil Setter: We’re hoping the industry isn’t affected by the current concerns and restrictions that everyone is talking about, so that our customers can remain open and welcoming people into their venues, so we can start the new year in a better place than we did this one.
Reduced rates and quicker shipping times is sure to be top of everyone’s list, so hopefully this can be remedied as soon as possible.