|Number of locations||479|
|Key people||Julie Sneddon, Executive Vice President, Disney Store Worldwide|
|Products||Disney, Pixar, Marvel|
|Parent||Disney Consumer Products
(The Walt Disney Company)
Disney Store (formerly called The Disney Store) is an international chain of specialty stores selling only Disney related items, many of them exclusive. Disney Store is a business unit of Disney Consumer Products.
The first Disney Store opened in the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California on March 28, 1987.[ChWDC 1] In April 1990, Another location was opened in Montclair, California, with 25,000 opening day visitors.[ChWDC 2] The first overseas Disney Store was opened in Oxford Street, London, England in November 1990. [ChWDC 3] The first Japanese location opened in 1992.
Sale of divisions in Japan and North America
Even though the Disney Stores maintained strong sales, mounting cost of sales and operation and the loss of key executives who had driven the Disney Stores to success led The Walt Disney Company to convert Disney Stores into a licensed operation. The Japanese stores were sold to Oriental Land Company in 2002, while most North American stores were sold and licensed in November 2004 to The Children's Place. The Walt Disney Company decided to keep the stores in Europe, along with the Manhattan store, which was converted into a World of Disney store.
The Children's Place intended to reinvigorate the Disney Store brand in the United States by expanding the number of stores, reducing initial selling prices. Previously, Disney Stores have been well known for inflated initial prices, which would be marked down substantially after just a few weeks. Also, The Children's Place opened Disney outlet stores, which have lower operating costs and typically have a high profit margin even though they have reduced prices versus mall stores. However, Disney's strict licensing agreement, which included the burden of being required to invest significantly in store remodels, contributed to the eventual decision by The Children's Place to exit the business.
Hoop Retail, the Children's Place subsidiary operating the Disney Stores, announced on March 20, 2008 that they were in talks to sell the Disney Store brand back to The Walt Disney Company. Hoop Retail filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March.
On May 1, 2008, 231 Disney Stores in North America once again became the property of Disney, operating under the Disney Consumer Products arm.
Furthermore, Disney Announced in November 2009 that they were planning a massive "re-launching" and re-branding of all Disney Store locations, spearheaded by Apple's Steve Jobs, who pioneered the Apple Retail Store concept. The new store look and feel was designed by New York-based design firm Pompei A.D.
The Oriental Land Company announced an agreement that it would sell its Japanese Disney Stores back to The Walt Disney Company. Disney would take over beginning March 31, 2010, Retail Networks Co., Ltd., Oriental Land Company subsidiary owning Disney Stores Japan.
Disney Stores are located in malls and commercial areas in the United States, Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Australia and Japan. A small number of stores were opened in Hong Kong however, the Australian stores were closed in 2003, and the only Disney Store in Hong Kong at this time is located in the Hong Kong International Airport, which was renamed The Magic of Hong Kong Disneyland and managed by Hong Kong International Theme Parks. Disney also operated approximately 15 smaller-scale locations in airports throughout the United States, which were all shuttered in the early 2000s.
In the United States, Canada, and Europe, Disney Stores are owned by The Walt Disney Company. However, Japanese Disney Stores were owned and operated by The Oriental Land Company, the company that owns and operates the Tokyo Disney Resort, but have now been bought back by The Walt Disney Company. From November 21, 2004 until May 1, 2008, Disney Stores in the United States and Canada were owned and operated by Hoop Retail Stores, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Children's Place, LLC. Oriental Land operates Disney Stores under a long-term license agreement with The Walt Disney Company, as did The Children's Place. In the United Kingdom and Europe, Disney operates approximately 30 locations. In the past year, a large number of stores have been closing - and no new locations opening. It has been rumored that all Disney Stores in the UK and Europe will be shuttered, as stores are being shuttered at a very rapid rate.
In 1998, the company purchased Infoseek and that purchase included Starwave. With that purchase there were now many other online properties under Disney Online including Disney.com, DisneyStore.com, MrShowbiz.com, Family.com, Movies.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com, NASCAR.com, NHL.com, etc. This led to a new business named Buena Vista Internet Group (BVIG) which grouped all internet sites under one business unit.
In 1999, the business was changed from BVIG to Go.com and was then spun that off as a tracking stock. Also in 1999 the DisneyStore.com business was moved under a business named Disney Direct Marketing (DDM). DDM was a business entity under the company's Disney Consumer Products (DCP) division and ran the Disney Catalog. At the same time all of this was happening, the team that ran the DisneyStore.com site also built and launched ESPNStore.com, NASCARStore.com, DisneyTickets.com and DisneyAuctions.com.
In 2001, DDM was moved directly under the control of The Disney Stores business.
The sale of The Disney Stores to The Children's Place didn't include the sale of DDM but did include the sale of the DisneyStore.com domain name, so in 2004 DisneyStore.com was changed to DisneyDirect.com.
In 2006, a complete rebranding was done. Disney Direct Marketing, Inc. was changed to Disney Shopping, Inc. (DSI), the domain was changed from DisneyDirect.com to DisneyShopping.com and the Disney Catalog business was shut down.
In 2008, after the repurchase of the Disney Store business from The Children's Place, the domain was changed back to DisneyStore.com.
In 2010, DSI was moved back under the control of the newly reacquired Disney Store business and a complete redesign of the site was launched. Also in 2010, the Disneystore.co.uk site was completely rebuilt on the same platform as the US site,
The Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel Entertainment in 2009, and in 2011, MarvelStore.com was relaunched using the same technology as the DisneyStore.com site. A new online store (DisneyStore.fr) for the French market was launched and a new store (DisneyStore.de) for the German market was launched. Also in 2011, a Mobile Web version of the Disneystore.com was launched as well as an iPhone app and an iPad app.
In 2013, 4 new online stores were launched for the European market. These included (DisneyStore.es) for the Spanish market, (DisneyStore.it) for the Italian market, (DisneyStore.dk) for the Danish market and (DisneyStore.se) for the Swedish market.
Disney Auctions was created in October 2000 with a partnership between The Walt Disney Company and eBay. Items like signs and ride vehicles from Disneyland and Walt Disney World were commonly sold as well as costume pieces and props from previously released movies from Walt Disney Studios. In fall of 2006, Disney ended their partnership with eBay and moved the Disney Auctions website under its own banner. In 2009 DisneyAuctions.com was completely shut down.
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- "Disney Shops Headed for J.C. Penney". Women’s Wear Daily. September 19, 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "World's Largest Disney Store Set For Shanghai". The Hollywood Reporter. October 25, 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- "Disney buys back store chain from Children's Place". Los Angeles Times. Reuters. May 2, 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- Daniel, Robert (March 27, 2008). "Children's Place's Disney Store unit files Chapter 11". MarketWatch. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- "Disney takes back Disney Stores from Children's Place". USA Today. AP. May 1, 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- Chmielewski, Dawn C. (September 6, 2011). "Head of Disney Consumer Products group steps down". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Barnes, Brooks (October 13, 2009). "Disney's Retail Plan Is a Theme Park in Its Stores". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- Loewe, Erin (March 21, 2011). "Modern magic". DDI. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- "Company Overview of Retail Networks Co., Ltd.". Company Profiles. Business Week. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- Polsson, Ken. "Chronology of the Walt Disney Company". KPolsson.com.
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