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    Walt Disney to open 135 stores in India by 2011

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    The consumer product retailing arm of global animation giant will over the next four years add 135 new stores to its existing 15 in India, in a move that indicates its aim to strengthen its foothold in the rapidly growing market.

    “India is a high-priority market for us. We will open 150 stores for our consumer products across the country by 2011,” , regional director (ASEAN), Disney Consumer Products, told reporters on the sidelines of the Technopak 9th Marketing & Retail Conclave, 2008, in New Delhi.

    The company, which currently operates 15 stores in the country, will open the outlets in franchise model. The size of the outlets will vary from 500 square feet to 1,500 square feet, and will sell stationery goods, party products, school and office items, gifts and soft toys.

    “The company will operate the future stores under a license agreement with Devyani International, which runs the company’s operational 15 stores. The stores will be set up under franchise models, and we are looking at tier I, II and III cities,” Bakshi added.

    On the company’s expected sales, Bakshi claimed, “Last two years, we grew over 100 per cent. In the next five years, we expect a high two-digit growth figure in the country.”

    Disney Consumer Products has about 100 licensees/partners in India, including Cadbury’s, , Weekender, Pantaloons, and , through which the company sells its products. The company has also set up about 45 Disney Corners at the outlets of their licensees/partners.

    – Bengaluru Bureau