Wal-Mart Stores today will announce a partnership with Disney for more than 140 products based on the Disney Channel’s wildly popular teen series “Hannah Montana.”

The goods roll out nationwide this week, and a marketing campaign starts pitching Wal-Mart as “Hannah Montana Headquarters,” says Janet Bareis, marketing vice president.

The series stars Miley Cyrus, 15, daughter of country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus. She plays normal teen Miley Stewart, who has a secret life as pop star Hannah Montana.

Hannah is cool enough to resonate with girls, while alter-ego Miley is sweet enough to reassure parents.

Miley Cyrus is now a real-life pop star: A Disney film of her recent concert tour, “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert 3-D,” opens in theaters Friday for a one-week run. Ticket site Fandango says many show times already are sold out. Lots of the 54 live tour stops sold out in minutes. Her CD “Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus” was No. 6 in U.S. sales in 2007, reports Nielsen SoundScan.

As demand for all things Hannah grows, Wal-Mart says it wants to be the “accessible” and “affordable” source for licensed products. “The concert tickets were really hard to get, and really expensive,” Bareis said. “What we’re trying to do is give more access.”

Wal-Mart’s licensed goods — from food to clothing and even a Hannah-esque blond wig — target girls ages 6 to 14, Bareis said. While that is the marketing sweet spot, she says, “We see 4-year-olds who are dancing around and want Hannah Montana merchandise.”

How Hannah will be highlighted:

Theater ads. Ads for the goods will screen in cinemas with the concert movie, as well as with other G-rated movies.

Dedicated display. Wal-Mart set up mini “Hannah Montana Shops” in 750 stores to display the clothes and accessories.

Unusual offerings. The bakeries have cupcakes and cakes. Vision centers sell frames for glasses.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the chain said it will cut thousands of prices by 10 percent to 30 percent on products such as Super Bowl snacks, fitness items and home goods.

Also, customers who make purchases of at least $250 on a Wal-Mart credit card can take 18 months to pay at no interest. Wal-Mart is seen as well-positioned for the economy’s slowdown.

Source : Gannett News Service