Disney Princesses' Princely Profits
Wednesday June 22, 4:31 pm ET
By Steven Mallas
Once upon a time, the Fool's sagacious stock baron, Bill Mann, penned an interesting article on Disney's (NYSE: DIS - News) Princess merchandise product line. He discussed this brand's incredible growth trajectory and why it was giving Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation Mattel's (NYSE: MAT - News) Barbie a run for her money. He mentioned that, at the time, the Mouse House's magic mirror predicted $2 billion worth of retail sales from the program.
Well, Disney issued a press release that takes things up a notch -- would you believe $3 billion is this year's new revenue target? Talk about magic and pixie dust. Think about it: Around the year 2000, Disney Princess retail sales tallied about $300 million. Five short years later, you've got 10 times that. Disney plans to release one of its from-the-vault films, Cinderella, on DVD -- with marketing campaigns coordinated with Home Depot
(NYSE: HD - News) and Kellogg (NYSE: K - News), among others -- this October, just in time for the upcoming holiday season. Given Cinderella's royal status, the company expects this move to act as a supreme catalyst for the Princess line.
Who accompanies Cinderella in the Disney Princess ranks? Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, Mulan, and Pocahontas. Disney should be commended for uniting all of these portfolio properties into one omnibus category. The company's tenacity in broadening the Princess product mix, and then distributing the wares globally (the release states that India is an upcoming international opportunity), is a healthy portent of things to come.
But shareholders shouldn't become smug. Disney Princess merchandise's target audience is undeniably fickle. Though most of the characters have stood the test of time, the Princess line itself could become passe at any moment. But at least for now, Disney's fortunes look downright happily-ever-after.