In an effort to take advantage of the growing amount of e-commerce, and combat declining brick-and-mortar store sales, Disney has made some changes to their online and on-location stores. Today marks the first day of their new online sales platform, shopDisney, and they have begun testing on new store designs for their merchandise locations.
Speaking at one of the locations currently testing the new design, executive vice president of Disney retail Paul Gainer said,
"We knew we needed to elevate and improve the experiences that we have both in stores and online as retail is changing."
shopDisney will, of course, feature merchandise from the Disney properties shoppers know and love, but it will also add collaborations with sought after labels from the fashion world. It is set to include products from brands like Coach, Le Creuset, Spyder, Steiff, rag & bone and more; exclusive collections from high-end fashion brands will be available on the "The IT List", the store's shop-in-shop. Paul Gainer, Executive Vice President for Disney Retail, said of the new design,
"We know our fans are looking for a one-stop-shop to find the most compelling product out there and with shopDisney we are uniquely positioned to curate the very best of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel merchandise. We’ve also added product categories and brands that speak to new audiences following the success of our collaborations in the fashion space."
The company's brick-and-mortar stores are also going beyond what is considered a traditional Disney shopping experience. Currently undergoing testing at select locations, the new store designs feature merchandise suited to all ages. They feature a more minimalist contemporary design that highlights the products, while providing interactive experiences and visual stimulation. Large LED screens have been added, allowing Disney to customize designs for a more unique storytelling purchasing experience. Gainer said of the stores,
"We are a storytelling company and our vision was to create a retail space that reflected our heritage. Our stores are destinations and gathering places for fans of our iconic brands, and are often their closest physical Disney touch point so creating an authentic brand experience is key."
Each afternoon the screens will show a live stream of a Disney parks parade. The stores will also begin their day with an opening celebration, allow for personalized celebrations for store guests, and end their day with a customized fireworks display on the screens. Cast member interaction will be increased, and a "play room" with interactive learning activities for children has been added as well.
There are currently 4 stores testing the new design, with 2 to be added soon. Century City, California; Northridge, California; Nagoya, Japan; and Shanghai, China are hosting the new layout now; with Miami, Florida and Munich, Germany to be added to the list later this year.
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