Disney Aspires to Double Licensed Merchandise Sales

In the 2009 fiscal year alone the Walt Disney Company made $27 billion (yes, billion) in sales of licensed products. In a webcast today, Andrew Mooney, head of the company’s consumer-products division, announced that they are aiming to double annual retail sales of licensed products in five to seven years. Disney is counting on big plans to merchandise the newly acquired Marvel characters to help achieve their goal, which could reach as high as $50 billion in product revenue by 2017.

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that products tied to “Toy Story 3,” in theaters June 18, will sell $2.4 billion in related merchandise, Mooney said. “Cars” has averaged $2 billion annually in retail sales of branded products since its 2006 release. A “Cars” sequel, due in theaters next year, may set a record for merchandise sales, he said.

Since closing their N.Y. “World of Disney” store in an upscale shopping district near Central Park rumors have been swirling about the popular store’s fate in Manhattan. A new location announced to open this fall in the less refined, yet bustling, Times Square is also another attempt by Disney to capture big dollars in merchadise sales in a high-traffic tourist area. As U.S. consumers continue an attempt to recover from the recession Mooney described the Times Square location as a “redesigned store,” as the company outlined earlier it will also feature some technically advanced & interactive features to draw guests in.

Last year, Disney’s consumer products accounted for 9% of it’s operating income.

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