Warner Bros merchandise arm eyes franchising for faster growth

Sep 08 2013, 13:21 IST
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Summary'Globally, WBCP is a USD 6-billion business and India is a relatively small currently...'

Following its foray into the retail space with 'Kids WB' stores earlier this year, Warner Bros Consumer Products (WBCP) is now looking at growth through avenues like licensing with real estate developers and live shows in the country.

Known for properties like Tom & Jerry, Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo and DC Comics' Superman and Batman, WBCP opened its first exclusive store at Coimbatore in partnership with Suncorp Exim in April this year.

While it is bullish on expanding the retail presence, it is also exploring options to extend licencing to different categories like real estate.

"Globally, WBCP is a USD 6-billion business and India is a relatively small currently...

"However, it is a fast growing market and there is a huge potential. There are a number of licencing opportunities that we are looking at," WBCP managing director Preston Kevin Lewis told PTI.

He further said the company is looking at bringing in a lot of live shows featuring its characters.

"We are also in talks with various realty developers," he said, adding that these are for projects in Delhi, Mumbai and other larger cities.

WBCP has another partner -- Fashion Brands Ė which will set up 'Kids WB' stores in the North.

"As part of our retail strategy, we are focused on expanding the reach of our products through traditional retail chains and mom-n-pop stores. At the same time, Kids' WB stores would be a one-stop shop for our entire WB branded merchandise range," Lewis said.

After Coimbatore, the company is looking to set up shops in Jaipur and Ludhiana over the next three months, followed by Delhi and Mumbai, he added.

The stores stock merchandise across categories like apparel, footwear and stationery, among others.

"We will also introduce new merchandise to coincide with the release of movies like Godzilla and the Hobbit next year," Lewis said.

Though he declined to comment on revenue from here, he said WBCP is targetting "substantial revenue growth", which is expected to double from current levels in the next three to five years.

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