Our friends in Russia will now have a greater opportunity of living out and experiencing the Disney Magic, thanks to two Walt Disney Brands that will soon hit its major shopping centers. The news was announced by business tycoon and billionaire Yevgeny Butman saying that his retail group Ideas4Retails will soon launch Disney Play (toys) and Disney Style (clothes) in mainstream shopping malls. Butman, who has been instrumental in promoting international brands on the Russian market, will also supervise the development of the stores. He also said that this is a major breakthrough for the Russian retail industry since they will be partnering with an iconic international company.
Previous efforts were made in working out a feasible partnership with The Walt Disney Company in promoting the brand in Russia. In 2013, the Detsky Mir (Children’s World) store chain and the Inventive Retail Group (IRG) were tapped by Disney to be its franchising partners. Under this partnership, Children’s World and IRG are suppose to provide 100 retail shops for the Disney Company, with 150-square meters of working space for each shop. According to their timetable, Disney would like to have the deal closed by 2014. Unfortunately last year, talks among these companies were discontinued according to sources from Detsky Mir and IRG. Seeing an opportunity for a feasible partnership, Butman and his Ideas4Retails was able to persuade Disney in making this deal work. Disney Russia press has not made any official statements yet about the details of the partnership. It is assumed that around US$3.8 million is needed to open 200 retail points in Moscow, according to DNA Realty. The exact dates of the stores’ openings are still to be announced.
The Walt Disney Company has been in Russia for almost a decade beginning in 2006. It oversees its film distribution through the Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing, responsible for distribution of Stalingrada and, and co-owns the Russian version of the Disney Channel. It also offers licenses on consumer goods. Once the stores open, it will be an added leverage for the Mouse House to influence more of our Russian culture later on in the future.