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Global branded play leader Hasbro, Inc. announced a new strategic merchandising relationship with Disney Consumer Products for the globally popular Disney Princess and Frozen properties. The agreement gives Hasbro global rights (excluding Japan) to develop dolls based on Disney Princess stories and characters including Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, and The Little Mermaid as well as Frozen beginning in 2016.

Read more: Hasbro, Disney partner on Disney Princess and Frozen properties

Vandor LLC recently expanded its licensing catalog to include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and 10 new matching products – all featuring the four iconic, teenage crime-fighting, mutated turtle brothers. Vandor’s newest products will show off the faces of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael in the form of tin totes, 12 oz. collapsible water bottles, 16 oz. plastic travel mugs, 18 oz. oval ceramic mugs and more.

Read more: Vandor Adds TMNT

A 2012 survey by QSR magazine asked participants to rate their customer experience at various fast food restaurant drive-thrus. Chick-Fil-A was the only restaurant that received a "very friendly" rating more than half the time (57.4 percent). Meanwhile, McDonald's clerks were "very friendly" only 27.6 percent of the time, and Burger King fell closely behind at 27.4 percent.

McDonald's executives acknowledged the issue with all of its franchise owners in a 2013 conference call, revealing that one out of every five complaints the corporate office receives is related to rude and unprofessional employees. The company failed to hit revenue expectations for two consecutive quarters in 2012, which prompted CEO Don Thompson to shake things up at the executive level that November. But the damage had already been done. Despite all the changes, the Wall Street Journal reported in June 2014 that McDonald's sales dropped six consecutive months, the longest negative slide for the company since 2003.

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog.

Coming out of this year’s International Licensing Expo, All-American Licensing and Management Group (AALMG), a licensing powerhouse formed by a group of top industry executives and represents select organizations, ranging from establishments like the Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand and the Bellagio Hotel and Resort, to personalities like designer Jennifer Adams and TV's longest running hunting and fishing show, The American Outdoorsman, announced the signing of PoloGear to that exclusive roster. This partnership will take the PoloGear brand to the mainstream level in North America.

Read more: PoloGear Scores with Licensing Agency AALMG

After 12 years in exile, SURGE is back. The drink that debuted in 1996 and was taken off the market in the early 2000s is back thanks to brand that successfully lobbied The Coca-Cola Company to bring back the drink. SURGE is Coke’s first discontinued brand to make a triumphant return to the market.

Read more: Power SURGE

Lots of activity taking place at Joester Loria Group. Jessica Wichard (left) and Katie Cosgrove (center) have been promoted, while Nate Solum (right) has joined the agency.

Read more: Joester Loria Announces Promotions and New Hires

Legendary providers of customer service like Zappos, Disney, Nordstrom, and Ritz-Carlton are the exception rather than the norm, according to service expert Steve Curtin. He explains the three elements common to all exceptional customer service experiences—the idea that customer service should be the highest priority of every employee, noting that it’s always voluntary and the employee chooses to deliver exceptional service, and it usually costs no more to deliver than poor service. He explains that companies that provide ordinary customer service aren’t asking their employees to provide the exceptional service, that in return could potentially lead to exceptional results.

Read the rest on the Retail Merchandiser Blog

Touch by Alyssa Milano, the premiere women’s sports-licensed fashion brand, will launch its first ever line of maternity wear in fall 2015.

Touch by Alyssa Milano – which launched in 2007 under G-III Apparel Group – is the only women’s fashion brand licensed by all major sports leagues, NCAA and NASCAR and currently consists of clothing, jewelry, and eyewear offerings. The launch of Touch by Alyssa Milano Maternity will include NHL, NCAA, NFL and NASCAR licensed merchandise.

Read more: Touch by Alyssa Milano to Launch Maternity Line in Fall 2015

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