Marvel boosts merch profile with hires


Marvel Entertainment has appointed Joann McLaughlin to the newly created position of executive vp merchandising and hired Susan Fields as vp merchandising. Marvel said the appointments reflect the company's goals of expanding the focus of its licensing operations to product merchandising and design "in an effort to position the company and its licensees for growth across all categories at retail."

McLaughlin, who joined the company in 1992, most recently served as co-COO at the Marvel Toys division. Before joining Marvel, Fields was chief marketing, merchandising and operating officer at Scott Evans Consulting, a direct marketing company specializing in high-end private-label consumer goods.

"Joann and Susan's depth of experience and insight into the constantly evolving retail landscape will provide added value to our licensees and help maximize their success in the marketplace," said Paul Gitter, president of consumer products for North America at Marvel Entertainment.

Marvel also announced an extensive licensing agreement with Fruit of the Loom for the children's underwear category and that it has finalized agreements with footwear company Crocs Inc. and expanded its agreement with master apparel licensee Kids Headquarters.