Walt Disney Inc, the popular American children’s entertainment company, has signed its first major agreement to sell a custom-made range of merchandise at an Indian retailer.
Big Bazaar, the supermarket chain of Pantaloon Retail India Ltd, India’s largest listed retail company, will start selling a range of clothes, toys, party decorations, comic books and other merchandise at all its 52 stores across India.
While Big Bazaar had been selling Disney merchandise for more than two years, this agreement will involve special store-in-stores and creating products for the two Disney products that it has a licence for: Power Rangers and Disney Princess.
Traditionally, around the world, retail has been the biggest driver of Disney’s consumer products. It has about 60 licensees in India, besides retail relationships with Pantaloon, Shoppers’ Stop, Landmark, Crossword, Lifestyle and a few other retail chains.
While the Power Rangers collection comes from a Disney television series featuring crime fighting children, the Disney Princess line includes merchandise with popular women characters from the Disney stable, including Pocohontas, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White.
This could help drive sales of children’s merchandise to Rs300 crore for the next fiscal year, from Rs120 crore for the year ended March 2007, said Rajan Malhotra, head Big Bazaar. Big Bazaar’s sales from children’s apparel sales were Rs90 crore last year, or 16% of all fashion sales, Malhotra said.
While Disney sells around $30 billion in licensed merchandise globally, the business is just taking off in India. This is Disney’s third merchandise tie-up in six months in India. It also launched Disney jeans stores and Disney artist stores, which sell licensed stationery, games, recently.
“Consumers here have been ready for our merchandise, but there was a lack of a quality shopping experience,” said Roshni Bakshi, director, Disney Consumer Products.
The Big Bazaar tie-up could yield sales of Rs100 crore in three years, Malhotra said. The discount chain, which is expected to have 100 stores nationwide by the end of the year, is spread across several small towns apart fromthe metros.
In keeping with Big Bazaar’s positioning as a value retailer, its Disney merchandise starts from Rs60. “There is a big counterfeit market here and elsewhere. Making licensed products available at competitive prices will help counter that,” Malhotra said.