Mickey Mouse headed to Moscow

By bne IntelliNews October 23, 2013

bne -

The growing list of foreign retailers setting out their stall in Russia will get a colourful addition next year, with US entertainment giant Walt Disney planning to open three themed stores in Moscow and St Petersburg.

The merchandising arm of the Walt Disney Company is set to launch toy and garment retail networks in Russia, business daily Kommersant reported on October 23. The company is currently looking at small-sized shop space on the order of 300-500 square meters located in the malls in Russia's twin capitals. Specifically it has been checking out space in the Mega brand hypermarkets in Moscow, which are already home to IKEA as well as several French and German retailers, and the giant Galeria shopping center in St Petersburg.

The company will spend an estimated $2.7m just on the retail space, DNA Realty told the newspaper. Walt Disney has also opened a tender for a local partner to operate two retail chain formats: Disney Play and Disney Style, which sell toys and garments respectively. Overall, the company hopes to eventually open 100 stores.

Last year Russia overtook Germany to become the largest toy market in Europe, worth an estimated RUB662bn ($21.3bn) at the end of 2012 and continues to grow in double digits. Despite all the negative press on Russia's "demographic problem." birth rates have been recovering on the back of steadily rising incomes.

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