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Store Check: Target at Culver City, CA

By Marcy Magiera

A week before Disney’s Zootopia scampered into theaters accompanied by predictions of a $67 million opening weekend, limited merchandise was on the shelf at Target stores. A local Target in Culver City, Calif., gave the new IP a toy aisle endcap, sparsely filled with small action figures, playsets and plush. It was unclear whether the selection was already picked over or spotty to begin with, but getting an endcap in Target for a brand new property is rare. Dare we attribute it to the market power of licensor Disney, the studio with an unparalleled track record and roughly a 50% share of entertainment/character licensed merchandise sales at retail in the U.S. and Canada., according to TLL’s annual ranking of entertainment/character properties with more than $100 million in retail sales?

Disney market dominance was fully on display at Target, where both Star Wars and Disney Princess each commanded about two-thirds of the shelving on one side of a toy aisle.

The studio’s older-skewing properties were merchandised in the entertainment department, where the back wall held a display reminiscent of a capsule Spencer’s gifts and novelties store. It showcased merchandise from three properties: Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars, and AMC’s Walking Dead. Shelves held DVDs and Blu-rays, posters, T-shirts, backpacks, fleece throws, lanyards, coffee mugs, water bottles, glassware, luggage tags, socks, headphones and other toys and collectibles.

Elsewhere, Target dedicated a main aisle display to its exclusive Oh Joy! line, showcasing infant bedding, toys and accessories designed with blogger, author and designer Joy Cho, who has 12.8 million followers on Pinterest. Blogger licensed merch also took over the women’s apparel department with a large section dedicated to the WhoWhatWear fashion blog’s eponymous Collection, also exclusively for Target.

We’ll revisit Target throughout the year to report on what the retailer’s detailed plans to integrate its online and in-store operations, test more personalized service and better inventory management and refocus on style in apparel and home décor mean for its sales of licensed goods.

  • Zootopia
  • Disney Princess
  • Marvel, Star Wars, Walking Dead
  • Oh Joy!
  • Who What Wear

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