When The Disney Stores opened they were touted as providing a little of the Disney theme park magic in your neighborhood. Sadly, it’s been a long time since the magic has been present at many of Disney’s retail outlets.
A series of mis-steps with The Disney Store brand tarnished the magic. From too optimistic over-buildin to removing collectibles and adult clothing from the shelves, from a premature closing of The Disney Gallery stores to licensing the stores to The Children’s Place, things went way too far away from Disney magic.
The current leader of The Disney Store, Jim Fielding, must think it went too far to ever be recovered, at least by going back to the original concept. Instead he’s heading in a brave new direction with a new themed store concept called “Imagination Park.”
I’ve heard rumors of the new concept store that was build in a Glendale warehouse. How it was going to bring the Apple store to The Disney Store. How now they were bringing the Theme park to the mall. How the Pixarian concept of story as king would be involved. But I wasn’t sure how far they planned to take it.
Today’s story in The New York Times indicates they’re planning on taking it all the way. The new stores will be built around story, interactive, and will feature the latest in retail technology, as used at the Apple stores. Everything has been built out in that proof of concept model
Wish I could some how get into the Glendale Warehouse myself. Those who have been in it tell me it’s absolutely amazing. Is it enough to revolutionize retail for The Walt Disney Company? Only time, and execution, will tell.