Disney Stores has bounced back into the black, recording a pre-tax profit of £2.8m in the year to September 27, 2008, after posting a loss of £6.6m the previous year.
Total sales grew 9 per cent to £99.8m in the period, as the retailer benefited from store refurbishments and strong product lines while keeping costs under control.
A Disney Stores spokeswoman said: “We’re very pleased with these results. In times of recession people stick to the brands they know and like, and Disney is one of those. “It’s a tough retail environment for everyone and we’re not immune to that, but we’re well positioned to weather the challenges.”
She said “trading since year-end has continued to be strong”, adding that although the retailer has maintained a tight grip on costs, no job cuts have been made in the period. The toy retailer’s new store format, launched most recently at Westfield London, has also helped grow sales, she said.
She added: “The investment made in store refurbishments is paying off. It’s about experiencing the magic of Disney on the high street. Westfield is doing really well.” New features in stores include pods displaying best-selling items and LCD screens showing Disney films.
Disney plans to roll out the concept to all 56 shops, and also wants to acquire new stores. “We’re always looking for new locations, and are looking into a number of cities at the moment,” said the spokeswoman.
Disney said its product lines for blockbuster High School Musical and celebrity pop star Hannah Montana have performed especially well. “We’ve been focusing on quality product, which carries a higher margin,” she said. “We’re very strong on new products, and have much-loved characters that are timeless.”
Disney has recently launched its Retro Mickey Mouse range, which is “flying off the shelves”, according to the spokeswoman.
Disney Stores is developing a “store of the future” concept in Los Angeles.