TEXTILES FUEL DISNEY’S LICENSED SALES

NEW YORK — From toys to towels to a wide variety of apparel, all the products licensed by The Walt Disney Co. rang up $20 billion in revenue at retail in 1996, $6 billion in the U.S. alone, a company executive told a meeting of textile executives here.
Chris DeMoulin, vice president of licensing for Disney’s consumer products division, also noted that half of this licensed revenue comes from apparel and textile-related products, and that 14 of the company’s top-25-grossing licensees are textile based. His comments came before a meeting of the New York Textile Group Thursday at the Union League Club here.
Disney, DeMoulin also said, plans to beef up its distribution to department stores in the coming years.
“Now, we see the most growth opportunities in department stores,” said DeMoulin, “because we’ve only just developed the right vendor structure to deal with them.”
DeMoulin said the entertainment giant has tripled its licensed revenues since 1991. While he wouldn’t disclose specific figures, he acknowledged that the mass market segment accounts for the lion’s share of Disney’s licensed sales, and that the company is eager to do more at higher price points.
“If, as a company, you vary your creative approach to business, which we do, then you have to have a differentiated licensee base,” DeMoulin continued, referring to the company’s strategy for varied price points.
In response to a question regarding the widespread practice of bootleg merchandise, DeMoulin said that Disney “has a handle on the problem in the U.S., but that illegal production of sales and merchandise in Asia is a more serious matter that we have to address.”

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