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Disney unveils its first branded apparel store 'Disney Jeans' in Mumbai

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MUMBAI: Disney India has the launched the first of its non-character franchise stores 'Disney Jeans' in Mumbai.

This is the first of 20 exclusive 'Disney Jeans' stores that Disney, along with Indus Clothing plan to set up between now and end-2007

As reported earlier, Disney and Indus Clothing have inked a licensing agreement wherein the latter would be pumping in approximately Rs 210 million towards the setting up of the stores.
The Disney Jeans concept will soon be followed by three more stores to be launched in Delhi with another two more opening in Mumbai. next on the list are Pune, Chandigarh, Dehradun and Kanpur.

The first phase of expansion will target the Northern and Western regions while the Southern and Eastern markets will see Disney Jeans stores by spring next year.

The core denim range is complimented with tees, fleece, jackets, woven shirts, woven bottoms and accessories in for kids between the age of 4-14 years. Elements such as adjustable waist bands which loosen and tighten according to the child's growth, hook buttons that are easy for children to manage, offer a casual and fun option. T-shirts and tops will be priced from Rs 99 onwards while the range of jeans will be priced between Rs 800 - 1300.

Explaining the rationale for introducing non-character merchandise as opposed to the much loved Disney characters, Softlines - Disney Consumer Products (DCP) Regional Director Lester W Lee said, "The non character market is seven to eight times larger than the character market, comprising almost 85 per cent and therefore we see this as a big opportunity for us. From packaging, labels and tags the range will bear the Disney identification."

The Disney Jeans product range will however, have cartoon strips and comics on the inner pockets and undercuffs of jeans. This range will also extend to accessories lie bags, hats, socks and footware.

"We wanted to create a non-character apparel brand that kids like. Ultimately the range will evolve, to provide a total head-to-toe fashion experience for kids through diversification into footwear, eyewear, watches and innerwear," added Lee.

"The launch of Disney Jeans is an exciting milestone as we continue to build the depth and breadth of Disney brand among new consumers in India," said The Walt Disney Company (India) MD Rajat Jain. "We are focused on delivering internationally successful products that appeal and offer great quality, "fashionability" and functionality and are appropriately customized for the local consumers."

Eyeing the 'tween' market as having great potential, Lee added, "Tween consumers are a key segment, they will be the new generation of spenders as they determine the trends in the market."

The Kids branded Apparel and Accessories market in India was at $ 600mn in FY'05 and is estimated to grow to $ 850mn by 2010. The Softlines revenue generated from Asia is pegged at 300 million, China making up for 40 per cent and India 10 per cent of overall revenues.

"Indus Clothing continues to be the front-runner in the organized Indian fashion business. Our mission is to lead the apparel industry through a superior product portfolio, innovative technology and an unrivalled commitment to customer driven excellence. We have aggressive marketing and promotional plans to build and strengthen our portfolio of brands in India," said Indus Clothing managing director HP Singh.

In addition to an extensive retail push, ICL plans innovative marketing initiatives to drive optimum product visibility for the consumers. ICL also plans to invest around 210 million rupees to set up the exclusive 'Disney Jeans Stores' by the end of 2007. The number of Disney Jeans Stores is expected to be increased to 50 by year 2008.

The brand is already present in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium. The range will be launched shortly in North America and other parts of Europe. In Asia, the brand is currently available in Taiwan, Thailand, China and in Hong Kong the store as even been extended to include adult merchandise.

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