Children’s Place makes a play for The Disney Store
After racking up a 19% sales increase in Q2 2004 over the same quarter in 2003, apparel retailer The Children’s Place is looking at spending some cash on The Disney Store. Last month, the company signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire and operate Disney’s North American outlets under a long-term license arrangement. Besides its recent sales gains, The Children’s Place has been growing physically this year as well. The chain opened 16 new outlets in Q2 and three more in July, hitting a total of 715 stores across North America.
Disney put its North American and European stores on the block in May 2003, blaming a soft retail market in malls, where most of its outlets are located. Flagship Disney Stores on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, at the Disney theme parks, and on the Disney studio lot in Burbank California are not up for sale.
Penguin the latest disciple of manga mania
Penguin Group USA is jumping into the growing U.S. manga market, having just signed a three-year deal with L.A.-based Digital Manga to release popular Japanese titles State-side. The co-publishing venture will churn out eight to 10 new titles in its first year, with 15 to 20 following each year after that. Although the two companies were still solidifying their publishing gameplan at press time, the first books will roll out in late spring 2005, and all kids and young adult titles will be handled by Penguin Young Readers Group’s new teen imprint Razorbill.
Digital Manga licenses and imports Japanese anime, manga and licensed merchandise to the U.S. market, as well as co-publishing the best-selling series Trigun with Dark Horse Comics.