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Monday Mouse Watch: What’s in store for the Disney Stores?

Monday Mouse Watch: What’s in store for the Disney Stores?

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I have to admit that I was kind of stunned when I visited the Disney Store at Honolulu’s Ala Moana Center this past weekend.

Disney Store Hawaii
Photo by Shelly Smith

Ever since The Walt Disney Company reacquired this retail chain last year, I have been hearing about the Mouse’s plans to bring back this brand. Restore the Disney Store to its former glory, if you will.

So imagine my shock when I walked into the Ala Moana Center’s Disney Store (which opened on June 10th) and – instead of a richly detailed environment – I found generic white shelving.

Disney Store Hawaii Alamoana Mall
Photo by Shelly Smith

Not to mention a layout that was so tight that it was actually difficult to move around this store.

Disney Store Hawaii
Photo by Shelly Smith

As I looked up at all of the temporary banners that were used to decorate this Disney Store, all of the headless mannequins that were used to display clothes …

Disney Store Hawaii
Photo by Shelly Smith

… I kept thinking that this can’t be the future of the Disney Stores. And – as it turns out – it isn’t.

The shop at the Ala Moana Center literally is just what it looks like: a temporary Disney Store. With its selection of low priced t-shirts …

Disney Store  Hawaii
Photo by Shelly Smith

 

… and its stark cash wrap area …

Disne Store Hawaii
Photo by Shelly Smith.

… this particular Disney Store is just a placeholder until Disney Consumer Products finalizes its plans for the actual relaunch for this retail chain.

According to DCP insiders, this relaunch could get underway as early as 2010. With 17 of the top earning stores in the chain reportedly receiving a floor-to-ceiling makeover.

When all of this work is completed, these next gen Disney Stores will supposedly be these highly interactive environments loaded with LCD screens. Which will then allow the chain’s new target customers (i.e. boys & girls in the 2-12 age range) to play games that feature their favorite Disney characters while Mom shops for merchandise.

“So why didn’t Disney Consumer Products wait ‘til they finalized its plans for relaunching the Disney Store chain before it opened this new shop at the Ala Moana Center?,” you ask. To be blunt, given the huge amount of money that international tourists regularly spend at this Honolulu mall, Disney didn’t want to lose out on all that potential revenue. So when the lease expired on the spot that the Disney Store originally occupied at the Ala Moana Center back in April, DCP just set up a temporary shop at a different location at the mall.

Trust me, folks. Three or four years from now, the Disney Store at the Ala Moana Center – not to mention the one at your local mall – will look a lot better than this.

Your thoughts?

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  • The makeover plans for the Disney Store are interesting, but I'd be more interested if they revamped the merchandise selection. Just a crazy idea, guys, but how about carrying something that can be worn by adult males, preferable at work? Not every Disney fan's six years old, y'know.

  • As we have had discussions before, if that type of merchandise sold in the Disney stores, then they would sell it. So obiviously it doesn't. Disney is in the business to make money and they will do what makes them more money. They make these types of decisions based on past sales.

    And I'm an adult male that wears business causal Disney clothing at work. But I purchased almost all of it at Disneyland, the NFFC show and sale (where WDI and the Studios bring their stores) or the Disney clearance outlet.

    Also, does anyone know where the 18 top performing stores are?

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