Update: Correction. These rumors are just regarding the letter of intent. No final contract has been signed. My bad
Word is leaking out the the sale has gone through, or will shortly. Thus marks the end of a long chapter in the Walt Disney Company that was at one time both it’s biggest success and its largest albatross. Having the magic available at your local mall was great. But at the same time it commodified the magic and you know what happens to commodities… they always get undercut by someone who can supply it for a lower cost to market (see Target, Sears, Wall-Mart). The Disney Stores were unable to survive when Ma and Pa could by a similar shirt and plush toy down the street for half price.
I feel sorry for all the CMs who will probably lose their Disney benefits. The discounted admission and hotel rates were a large reason many part time employees worked for The Disney Stores. Those will most likely be stripped now and having a 20% discount at The Children’s Place, probably won’t fill that same need.
My own personal hopes is that Disney is able to expand their ‘World of Disney’ store models to more than just New York, Orlando, and Anaheim. I would add a catalog department where you can see and handle catalog merchandise before ordering it (very important when you’re buying collectibles or home furnishings) and start a collectors club that meets monthly with guests speakers at these stores.
But the magic can never again be available at every mall in america, it has to be focused on the theme parks, movies, and television. Focus like a laser beam on these products until they shine again like the crown jewels they once were.