How will Target’s new Disney shops compare with J.C. Penney’s?

By guest author Maria Halkias, Retail Writer at Dallas News

There’s a lot of Disney merchandise out there, but there’s also a pecking order for it. Target’s new partnership with Disney — announced Sunday — will add to the cascade of Disney toys and apparel that added up to a nearly $5 billion business last year.

Will consumers know the difference between Target and J.C. Penney merchandise from Disney?

Disney stores are at the top of the heap. They get the best Disney-themed merchandise, and they have it first. Now, Disney says, it will share some of that level of merchandise with Target.

This image provided by Target Brand Inc and Disney shows an artist rendering of a store. Target is hoping to bring the magic of Disney by creating permanent Disney shops at a cluster of its own stores starting this fall. As part of its collaboration with the Walt Disney Co., the Minneapolis-based discounter says it will open 25 Disney-branded stores starting Oct. 4, with 40 additional locations opening by October 2020. (Target Brand Inc. and Disney via AP)

Disney, a worldwide mega brand, is planning to open 25 shops inside Target stores by Oct. 4, including five stores in Texas in Allen, Austin, Euless, Spring and Pasadena.  The launch is timed for when the new assortment of merchandise hits shelves from Disney’s Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalter.

Target will sell some items that were previously only available at 300 Disney stores in malls and shopping centres, at its theme parks and in the Disney store on Amazon. 

Then there’s another layer of merchandise sold by Plano-based J.C. Penney.

Since October 2013, Penney has added more than 600 Disney shops in its stores. Penney has called out its Disney toy and apparel as a traffic driver over the years, particularly with releases of hit movies such as Frozen.

“This remains a very successful collaboration for J.C. Penney,” said Penney spokeswoman Sarah Holland.  And, Disney confirmed that its shops in Penney stores will continue.

All of the other Disney merchandise out there that’s sold by other retailers is licensed. It’s made by manufacturers who pay for the right to make Disney-themed merchandise.

According to Statista, Disney’s licensing, publishing and game revenue last year was USD 3.06 billion, and its retail business was about USD 1.6 billion.

Penney’s Disney stores also sell exclusive toys, collectibles and children’s apparel, but the merchandise is designed and sourced by Disney just for J.C. Penney.