Simpsons stores coming soon

Updated: 2016-01-21 07:49

By Wang Ying In Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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Flagship stores of the Simpsons, the first global outlets of the United States animated sitcom, are scheduled to open in Beijing and Shanghai in the first half of this year.

"This year will be an important one for us as we are opening the first Simpsons store along with our Chinese partners," said Jeffrey Godsick, president of 20th Century Fox Consumer Products.

The Beijing store will be the first bricks-and-motar Simpsons store in the world, and it will open in March in Sanlitun, a popular fashion destination in the capital. The second store will be launched in Shanghai in June, according to Godsick.

Though the exact location for the Shanghai store is yet to be announced, it is expected to be in a trendy and high traffic mall as the Beijing one. The two stores will be licensed to sell the Simpsons series of products, and those owned by its partners.

The decision to launch themed stores for the 27-year-old television show was based on its familiarity among Chinese audiences and the success of the Simpsons products.

Fox launched Simpsons' products by collaborating with fashion brands two and a half years ago. It started to team up with Chinese brands one and half years ago and decided to open physical stores in China last year to tap the growing interest, demand among Chinese consumers.

Godsick said the products released in China were sold out very quickly, and there used to be a three-hour queue for people to enter the fashion brand store in Shanghai that is going to launch Simpsons' products.

International movie and television producers are showing growing interest in the Chinese consumer product market. The Walt Disney Co has chosen Shanghai to open its first Disney flagship store in the Chinese mainland. Boasting the world's largest Disney store, it was opened in Shanghai's Pudong New Area in May 2015, offering more than 2,000 categories of products.

"China's movie and television industry will bring a lot of investment opportunities for derivative products sales," Zeng Hongshan, a professor from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, was quoted as saying by China Economic Herald.

Derivative products of Star Wars have created about $30 billion worth of business, and in 2013 and 2014 alone, it generated Disney about $4.6 billion, the China National Radio reported.

The Simpsons' stores will occupy about 250 square meters and consumers can find about 200 products including T-shirts, hats, jackets, pants, cell phone cases, lifestyle accessories, stationery, shoes, sneakers and socks in the trendy stores.

The products will continue to expand and change according to seasons, and between 25 and 50 percent of the products will be sold exclusively through the stores in the future, said Godsick. He expected to have 100 such Simpsons' stores in the future.

"We will continue to design individual consumer products for each of our movies and TV shows in China, and ultimately grow our brand as a company," he said.

Simpsons stores coming soon

(China Daily USA 01/21/2016 page13)