Saturday, September 5, 2009
Whether or not you want to see your art on products in discount stores, licensing art for products (mostly gift bags) in these stores is (or was) a huge business. I couldn't believe how big until I found out how many stores these chains own and thus the potential in making a lot of money even when an item costs only $1 or less a pop. Dollar General has over 8,300 stores in 35 states; Big Lots over 1000 stores, Dollar Tree over 3500 stores in 48 states, Family Dollar over 6500 stores in 44 states, and 99 Cents stores over 300. That is a whopping nearly 20,000 stores that sell licensed products! No wonder artists are licensing art for use in discount stores.
However, these lucrative licensing opportunities for artists may be coming to an end. For years I've been following this industry and I've looked at the bottoms of thousands of bags in order to see whose art are on the bags and if they are copyrighted. Three years ago licensed art on gift bags from individual artists and art agencies were the only art seen. Now more and more art is purchased outright or the bags sold in discount stores are from manufacturer overstock. Even the licensed art seem to be more from design studios than from individual artists.
Copyright@2009 Joan Beiriger