NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nickelodeon is a key property for media company Viacom (VIA). Nickelodeon is available in 100 million households in the U.S. and has remained the most watched basic cable network for 18 consecutive years. To help with international growth of the Nickelodeon brand, Viacom has teamed up with Summit Resources International to open retail stores in emerging markets.
The first store opened in Panama back in November of 2013 and has exceeded company expectations. A second Panama store will be opening in June. Two stores are set to open in Saudi Arabia, the first in April and the second in September. Another store is planned to open in Moscow in 2015.
Nickelodeon and parent company Viacom will get final approval on what products are carried in the stores. This gives the company prime opportunity to promote new shows and find out how strong international demand is for its products. As a royalty, Viacom will gain percentage of sales from the stores' totals.
The launch of the international stores also follows up Nickelodeon's opening of a retail shop inside a Toys 'R' Us in New York. The flagship Times Square Toys 'R' Us has housed over 1,000 square feet dedicated to the Nickelodeon brand since May of 2013. Viacom has no current plans to open standalone retail stores in the U.S.
Back in 1987, Walt Disney (DIS) opened the first Disney branded store in California. Since that time, the company has launched stores in malls, airports and international territories. After licensing out the brand, Disney now owns 340 stores under the Disney Store name in North America, Japan and Europe. At last count there was over 200 stores in the United States, 40 in Japan, and more than 100 in Europe.