Warner Bros. sets up shop in China

Merchandise comes to mainland via licensing deal

HOLLYWOOD — Warner Bros. is moving into China: Its first flagship Studio Store will open in Shanghai no later than 2005.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has named Hutchison Harbour Ring and Global Brands Group exclusive licensing agent for China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The deal grants exclusive rights to open Warner Bros. Studio Stores and Warner Bros. Studios Presents outlets, plus licensing rights to produce merchandise.

HHR will provide sourcing services to WBCP licensees worldwide outside the U.S. and Canada.

“The relationship we announce today (Tuesday) brings our strong business opportunities together to create a powerful impact for our brands and the way we present them to consumers in this important region,” said WBCP prexy Dan Romanelli.

HHR has partnered with Global Brands Group to create the PMW Agency, which will act as the local market licensing agent for WBCP and the brands that make up its portfolio, including Looney Tunes, Harry Potter, Batman, Superman, Scooby-Doo and the Powerpuff Girls.

Global Brands Group CEO Jonathan Sieff said, “Having worked with Warner Bros. Consumer Products for over 12 years in Europe, I am excited to be involved in the development of the licensing business in China, in partnership with HHR.

“HHR has unparalleled experience in China and will ensure that WBCP’s portfolio of brands is strongly represented,” he added.

The agent relationship begins in February. The remaining facets of the partnership are effective immediately.