Universal, Kmart To Go Steady Next Fall

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Universal Studios Consumer Products Group signed a deal with one retailer – Kmart Stores – to launch two product lines. Some licensed apparel for both Curious George and Woody Woodpecker and Friends will be available exclusively in Kmart’s 2,100 stores for back-to-school ’99.

Curious George will hit the big screen this year in a Ron Howard-Brian Grazer film for Universal. Publisher Houghton Mifflin will add to the excitement by releasing eight George books, the first new titles in the series in 30 years.

Meanwhile, Woody Woodpecker has a new animated show on the Fox Kids Network; the red bird also will be featured at Universal’s newest theme park, Universal Studios Escape, which opens this summer in Orlando. The park will have a Woody Kidzone with rides and other activities.

“It’s exciting to be the first mass merchant to be linked with licensed properties that are classic, on-trend, and appealing to young parents who shop our stores,” says Lorna Nagler, divisional vp, Infants, Toddlers, and Childrenswear at Kmart. “We believe our customers will reminisce about Curious George and Woody Woodpecker and enjoy introducing their children to these characters.”

Universal senior vp-sales Tim Rothwell praised Kmart for two of its recent successful (and exclusive) programs: Sesame Street children’s apparel and the Martha Stewart Everyday section. “It’s the first time we’re launching two classic brands with one retailer,” he adds.

The exclusive deal includes clothes for infants, toddlers, and young boys and girls. Toys and non-exclusive clothes will also be available at Kmart.


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