Disney powers on

Diversification of franchise portfolio will lead to doubling of retail sales.
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Disney Consumer Products has set its sights on doubling its retail sales as its next significant milestone.

Anne Gates, executive VP and MD of Disney Consumer Products, revealed at last month’s Licensing Summit that in order to do this the firm will be continuing to diversify its franchise portfolio to connect with a broader range of consumers.

Going forward, DCP will be bolstering existing successful brands such as Baby Einstein, Playhouse Disney, Power Rangers and Cars – which Gates claimed had “rewritten the rules of merchandise” and is on track to record $2 billion in global retail sales this fiscal year.

The next chapter in The Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian, is due in May 2008 and the third film in 2009, while Toy Story 3 will arrive in summer 2010. Support for Pirates of the Caribbean 3 will continue with the DVD release.

Within the girls sector, Disney Princess will continue to be backed heavily, with strong worldwide product sales anticipated in fiscal 2007. The big hope is forthcoming live-action feature film Enchanted.

Disney Fairies – which DCP is aiming to make as successful as Princess – High School Musical and Hannah Montana are also key.

Moving outside of the traditional areas, however, and Gates explained how there will be a new high-end boutique business bearing the Walt Disney signature. The firm has teamed up with Drexel Heritage for the home furnishing line, which will include the likes of table ware and bed linen amongst other items. The range will not rely on character applications and DCP is anticipating retail sales of around $300 million in the next few years.

In addition to all of this, Walt Disney wedding gowns have also recently been unveiled.

Gates also revealed that DCP will be looking to expand the range and scope of its business models, although stressed that the firm remained committed to traditional licensing.

“We believe we have the strategies in place to double our business in the short-term,” Gates said.


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