Walt Disney Co.’s consumer products arm has decided to restructure its Art Classics division by licensing out production and distribution starting in February.
The move, announced internally last week at Disney’s Burbank headquarters, will lead to staff cuts in the division although a Disney rep declined to give specific numbers, adding that the corporation will attempt to find new Disney slots for those affected. Sources said about 100 division employees will be pink-slipped.
The division issues a trio of lines of collectibles — the Classics collection, Pooh and Friends and the Fine Arts collection. Items are sold through Disney Stores and theme parks, galleries and retailers.
Disney will retain creative control over licensees.
“We decided that we would be able to operate more efficiently by licensing, which is an area in which we already have extensive experience,” a Disney spokeswoman said.