Sanrio to Buy New Mascot, Rely Less on Hello Kitty

posted on 2011-07-13 22:00 EDT by Andrew Osmond
Company to buy rights to "established" character, reduce dependence on Hello Kitty

According to a Wednesday report on the Bloomberg website, Sanrio will spend up to 30 billion yen ($377 million) to buy the rights to an already established character, in order to rely less on Hello Kitty (pictured). If a suitable character is found, it would be the first time that Sanrio would use a character that it did not develop in-house.

Sanrio's Managing Director, Susumu Emori, declined to say if Sanrio was in talks with any candidates. He said that the company wanted to "diversify" its character portfolio, but that it was looking for a character that would not harm the image of Hello Kitty.

Currently, Hello Kitty goods account for 80 percent of Sanrio's overseas licensing revenue. Sanrio's market value has quadrupled since the start of 2010. Emori also noted that Walmart, which became one of Sanrio's licensed retailers this year, may distribute Hello Kitty clothes, stationery, and other merchandise to about 3,000 of its outlets by December.

Update: Typo fixed. Thanks, Ryvius213.

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