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Hello Kitty stores destined for US

The Hello Kitty experiential retail experience is heading for America.

Sanrio, the Japanese global lifestyle brand which owns the popular, mouthless pop icon Hello Kitty, has partnered with  Universal Parks & Resorts to develop Hello Kitty interactive retail stores at Universal Orlando Resort and at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The shops will mark Hello Kitty’s official retail debut at theme parks in North America and offer specialty merchandise including stationery, home goods, apparel, accessories and collectibles.

The Orlando store will open later this year, while the Hollywood store opening date has yet to be confirmed.

The majority of merchandise will be devoted to Hello Kitty; Sanrio properties Chococat, My Melody, Badtz-Maru, Purin and Keroppi will also have a presence. Hello Kitty confectionery and specialty co-branded Hello Kitty Universal park-exclusive products will also be available.

Sanrio has confirmed the Hello Kitty stores at Universal Studios will offer enhanced interactive retail experiences. Customers can shop for custom designed merchandise, enjoy photo opportunities with Sanrio properties, create souvenir versions of Hello Kitty’s signature bow, and even meet Hello Kitty herself.

“Our partnership with Universal brings Sanrio’s experiential entertainment presence to a new level,” said Janet Hsu, president and COO of Sanrio, Inc.

“We look forward to this introduction into Universal theme parks to offer new connection points to Sanrio fans of all ages.”

Sanrio’s partnership with Universal Parks & Resorts highlights the brand’s continued expansion into lifestyle entertainment. Recent projects include the successfully unprecedented ‘Hello Kitty Con’ fan convention and ‘Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty’, a record-breaking museum exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival, a live entertainment show and interactive fan festival that has reinvented the concept of a live character show, is currently touring select cities in the US and Canada. Sanrio’s unique approach to lifestyle entertainment has proven an effective way of connecting with their legions of fans of all ages across the country.

Hello Kitty recently celebrated her 40th anniversary. Her image adorns more than 50,000 products in more than 130 countries – and upwards of 15,000 US retail locations alone, including 80 Sanrio boutiques.

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