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Children’s Place buys The Disney Stores

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.

30 thoughts on “Children’s Place buys The Disney Stores”

  1. Part time cast members recieve a 20% discount already at the Disney Store, so that won’t change,besides,true cast members work at the the Disney Store because they truly love their job.The discounts are only are a small part of why they work there.

  2. Many “true” cast members work at the Disney Stores because they LOVE DISNEY, not because they love being a store clerk. Their 20%-35% discount (it increases after 3 years with the company) extends to the Disney theme parks, catalog, stores, etc. A similar discount at the Children’s Place stores will not placate the Disney fans that work at the stores and they will most likely not stay after the changeover. I have over ten years experience with the Disney Stores — if I wanted to work for Children’s Place, I would work for Children’s Place or some other ‘tot shop’. I wanted to work for Disney and if I am no longer a Disney cast member with Disney discounts, I will not stay. All my fellow CM’s share a love of Disney and loyalty to each other and we would all prefer to stay with the company as a TEAM, but no doubt we will just become casualties of another corporate sales transaction. A Children’s Place Disney Store without Disney cast members is just the same as any other retail establishment with detached clerks that make minimum wage and know little or nothing about the product they sell. You may as well shop at Target — their Disney product isn’t the quality of the Disney Stores (that may change), but at least you won’t expect any Disney knowledge from the staff. The Disney Stores have gone the way of Club Disney: a great idea, poorly managed that could not adapt to the constantly changing retail market. RIP

  3. I am a TDS CM and was told that we would get 30% discount at The Children’s Place. The letter also said we would be guaranteed our jobs, our salary (Big Deal!) and our titles. I am Disney thru and thru and will definitely leave if we lose our discounts. They only reason I am at TDS is because it is DISNEY! I don’t care to work retail for anyone else.
    This is very hard for all of us true Disney CM’s. We don’t want to leave our jobs, but we feel Disney has let us all down.
    Right now we are just waiting for the final details–those involving our discounts. But, we have a feeling we will be strung along until after the holidays before we are told we will be losing our benefits.
    I will miss my Disney family….

    Donna ºoº

  4. I would hope that the purchase by TCP would mean an influx of $$ to upgrade existing Disney stores. I Love Disney, and am a CM because of Disney. Love the discounts at the Park and the Hotels, but would want to help keep Disney alive outside of Anaheim, Orlando, WalMart, KMart and Target!

    janie d

  5. I haven’t worked at Disney Store for very long only about 5 months now but I was upset to hear that we were being bought. I don’t know if I am going to stay, but I have started looking for another job already. This whole thing stinks though.

  6. I work at The Disney Store because it was a way to be part of the magic, until I can move to Florida. I am not a people person, and I hate retail. But The Disney Store wasn’t normal retail. Seeing the smile on kids faces when they saw Mickey Mouse. Watching them try on costumes to become the princess or prince, or Stitch was amazing for me. We were part of the show. As of Oct 11th, what are we. Childrens place employees, that work in retail. We aren’t a part of something bigger. We can no longer say, did you see the new movie we have coming out. Yes I like the discount, I go to Disney 3 to 4 times a year. But guess what before I had the discount I still went 3 or 4 times a year, just normally stayed at All Stars instead of Animal Kingdom Lodge LOL. My love of Disney will never die, and I was willing to make sacrifices (open availability for 3 years, with call in shifts, and everything else that goes with it) being unable to take vacations around thanksgiving, and christmas, and hearing that we weren’t allowed to have more then 7 days off in a row for a vacation (we’re part time, it’s unpaid, deal with it) I’m not willing to make those sacrifices for the childrens place. I want my life back, I want weekends back. Sorry this is long, it’s been a very emotional topic lately.

  7. I’ve been a part time cast member for 10 years and the sale of TDS makes me sick in the stomach. I love being part of the show, making the shopping experience fun and special, because we are disney. The guests in line at my cash wrap sang Happy Birthday to a little girl for her 5th birthday. We took a polaroid picture when a guest used her disney credit card for the first time. It was her first credit card. That is Disney magic, not children’s place retail. They are probably a nice company to work for, but my identity is tied to disney, not just a crummy retail job with lousy hours, pay and limited vacation, even though you may only have 2 on call shifts that week. We do that to be part of the magic. And when the magic is gone, so am I.

  8. I have worked as a Disney Store cast member for about 2 years. I truly love everything about Disney. I have been going every year since I was 1 month old, and have began taking my daughter(she was 9 months old when she went this past spring)! The magic of Disney lives in people like me and so many other cast members and guests. I am very concerned about this whole buy-out thing, but not only for the discounts, not that they won’t be missed. I am concerned about the guests. I don’t want anything to change when they walk into our stores. I still want them to feel as if they were stepping off of Main Street into a shop each and every time they walk through our gate. I just hope that the only thing noticable, other than good things of course, that will change is the name on my paycheck. I am and always will be in my mind a Disney Cast Member. Even if I’m not considered one by Disney themselves. So to all those cast members who say that they won’t stay, I understand, but try and remember the faces on kids, young and old, when they see our stores for the first time, and try to keep the magic alive!!

  9. i worked for The Disney Store for 6 years and loved EVERY minute of it, I am currently a Childrens Place associate and I see things very differently then most cast members. The rate of Disney Stores closing is alarming and I look forward to the TCP team coming in and giving TDS the MUCH needed effective mgmt it has lacked for many years.

  10. I had been going to the park often since I was 5 – Mickey Mouse scared me. But alas, that is no more……no more Disney close to my house….now I have to settle for two bit knock offs at Wal-Mart and Target because people are only interested in the bottom line instead of the quality of the product. In my store Tigger always has a spring tail – at the cheap places he does not.
    We have many guest that come in to my store and know about quality……but there are more that do not.
    So…….good by Disney Stores… it’s time to say goodby to all our company…you know the rest. I will be leaving Disney Stores after 9 1/2 years. But don’t cry for me, I’m doing enough of that myself, I’m not leaving Disney. Disney may have turned it’s back on me, but I have not turned my back on Disney.

  11. what sucks the most now is that the Part-time leads of the Disney Stores like myself, and my fellow regular castmembers lose our discounts for merchandise and food to the parks. Yes we will get 3 one day one park passes per year, although we need to reguest them 20 days before using them. They also need to be told which park we are going to use them when we request the tickets. But the Assistant managers and above castmembers now will get a Purple pass which entitles themselves as well as their dependents admission to all theme parks, and they will still receive discounts on merchandise and food in the parks. I say that the Part-time Leads and below are the ones getting screwed. We should all construct and execute a walk out. Let the store managers and assistant managers run the stores. They think we should be happy. Of course they are happy, because they are not losing anything except for there hotel discounts.

  12. The Disney STore is now “Disney” in name only. We are no longer cast members, merely clerks in another store in the mall. The Childrens Place is not going to bring back the glory days of the Disney Store where the “target demographic” was not merely toddlers to 9 years old, but recognized that Disney fans come in all ages–including adults. I am mad about the sale, mad about the cut off of benefits at the park, and dont anticipate staying much longer after having spent 5 years at the store. I hope that the Childrens Place does a good job, and I will still shop at the Disney Store, but I wont be a magic maker anymore. It is a sad day for all the cast members.

  13. I am a TCP employee…
    I love what I do.
    Each and every day i get to spend all day helping to make children smile (and there parents if i can)…that is magic…
    and that is a foundation for the magic that Disney is founded on. I dont blame TDS employees for being concerned or angry…change is hard. But The Childrens Place offers a really great product for a better price to its consumers…
    Ultimatly this change will allow consumers to still receive that high quality Disney product for a lesser cost…The same as they do at The childrens Place.
    Its making the magic more readily available to those who cant afford it normally (namely those who dont have that employee discount you are losing..)
    Personally I look forward to working with new people and having new opportunities available to me.
    We are not just any retailer (I know I have been in retail for 10 yrs)…we are the place that children go….same as Disney.

  14. For the past 6 months or so, Disney Store Cast Members have been told that “once the sale goes through, you won’t be Disney employees anymore so you won’t get your discount at the Parks”. Well, last week at our Cast Meeting we were told that even though we lose our discount at the Parks, all Disney Company employees would continue to get their employee discount at the Disney Store, even though it’s not a Disney Company unit anymore. Does that make sense to anyone? If it’s not a Disney unit anymore, than why do they get their employee discount? We are being screwed and it sucks. And get this, if we want to keep our Disney ID as a momento of our service (in my case, over 9 years)then Children’s Place will not issue us an Employee ID unless we give them a check for $25.00 payable to the Disney Store. If all CM’s wanted to do this (325 stores with 20 CM’s each) that would be $162,500 for the Disney coffers. The fact that they are trying to make money off of dumping us is quite disturbing. They won’t see my card, that’s for sure. Or my check. Hope I get into law school next fall, I’m really interested in looking at this from a legal point of view. Seems like there are labor standards being crossed here. I’d bet they cut our discount off just to get rid of the top paid CM’s as a cost cutting measure. I have loved working for this company every day of my entire 9 years but right now, I would love to sue them even more~!

  15. You all have to understand that we are still part of the magic as employees of the Disney Store and Hoop. I mean sure, we lose some benefits and thats difficult, but I’m sure many who are upset about this are from California or Florida where they can go to the parks all the time. We’ve been far luckier than the stores in the midwest who don’t get that chance. Now, we are on even keel with them. One of the main reasons from what I’ve heard for Walt Disney Company employees to keep a discount is to keep us making money, which gives us more hours so that we can all get more. The magic is still there if you keep it there. If you don’t, then it is a loss for the guests, and we’re supposed to be there for them, not for the discounts. Just because we are owned by a different corporation doesn’t mean we ourselves are any less Disney, we are still those people who bring magic to the children. To be a true Disney person,a true castmember, thats what its all about. We aren’t going to have some crummy knock offs, our products will still be the same, and at a great price. But if you feel this isn’t what you want, then good, leave, because those of us who plan on keeping the magic alive, don’t need the rest of you trying to make it disappear.

  16. I find it interesting to read the reactions of cast members of the Disney Stores as the feelings run the gamut from anger at being cast out of the Disney family to the meek acquiescence of others. My first reaction was disappointment at being sold, but understanding that this was the alternative to closing, I accepted it and was willing to live with it. As this short time since the completion of the sale has passed, I have decided that there is a huge difference between working for the Disney corporation and for working for the Disney Store owned by Hoop–the difference is in the feeling of BELONGING to the Disney family–we are no longer members of that special magic making family, and it makes a difference in how I feel about this job. I was proud that I worked for Disney, and I do not have that same feeling of pride now, nor do I have the same feeling of working for a special place. I know I am not alone in this feeling as we have already lost several cast members, and after the holidays we will definitely be losing more, and that includes me. I must say that I feel angry that ABC employees and Walt Disney employees are afforded discounts at the stores, but nothing but three 1 park tickets per year were afforded to the Disney store employees. I still love Disney, but I will have to pass the torch on to others at the store who have the ability to accept the changes, and can take my place. If I am lucky, one day soon I will move to Florida and try working again for the House of Mouse. If I dont make it to Florida then I will just count myself lucky to have been able to have worked for DISNEY. Good luck to all who decide to stay. I will still shop at the Disney Store, and hope that you have as much fun as I had have had these past five years.

  17. I recently quit working for “Disney Store” because we were sold. I enjoyed my time as a castmember; but without the total benefits as a castmember for THE Disney Store (a “true” Disney company employee) (park passes, hotels, dining, shopping) there really was not any reason for me to stay. Adding 25-30 hrs per week to my 40 hr a week day job during the holiday season was not worth the time lost with my family. Before the sale, I knew I had a goal, now that goal is gone. *sniff*sniff* It all went down hill when Disney decided to let everyone and their dogs start producing Disney related merchandise- why buy a $10 kid’s t-shirt at TDS when you can get a similar one for $5 @ Wal*Mart? TDS was doomed to start failing. I’m guessing if things don’t turn around soon all Disney Stores will be closing… a great loss to us all…

  18. One thing that is always constant is change. What has happened at the Disney Stores is sad but life goes on. The landscape of retailing has changed due to overseas pricing structures and domestic pricing: on going pricing battles.

    The end results effects the bottom line of any retail operation. As we see the Disney Stores have lost beinging a profitable revenue source to expand. You would think that an empire like Disney could reset a new marketing plan to turn around the Disney Stores!

    Management direction and goals have changed at the top and the result is the loss of a great retail family. Sad but true.

    I always say when one door closes there is another new door that opens. The Disney retail experience will always be a part of most people worldwide.

    Enjoy your next step…… Life Goes On.

  19. I became a DS CM because of my love for ALL things Disney and that included wanting the 50% off at the resorts and my hard earned 35% on merchandise! If it hadn’t been for that great discount, I NEVER would have been able to afford to go to WDW with my husband and 5 children ONCE in a lifetime, let alone the 2 times we were fortunate enough to be able to go! (with the help of income tax refunds!)
    Without the discounts for the parks and resorts and no longer being a true part of the Disney “family” I saw no reason to stay and quit also.
    A lot of the CM’s I had the privilige to work with were from low to middle class incomes and were only working for the discounts and the minimum wage pay of $5.35 an hour with an average of 6 – 15 hours a week sure WASN’T the reason!
    I will always cherish the time I had with these wonderful co-workers and being a part of the “magic” of Disney.

  20. Hello! I have been with the Disney Store for four years and I am presently a lead (shift manager). I have seen a lot of ups and downs of the company. We used to have upwards of 600 stores, now in the US we have 293. Originally they slated my store for closure, but the Children’s Place deal halted our store closure and our location is actually doing very well and beating goal.

    Our store is an older on, and all of our cartoon animations (besides the ones in the front display windows) are broken and our store needs paint badly, our registers are outdated and always break down. There is so much maitenance our store needs and the Walt Disney Company was too cheap to invest money bak in to the stores. I blame Eisner partially.

    Now TCP is planning to remodel all of our stores, bringing them up to date so we can properly operate. Although I like the old store model better (with the carpet and animations and large TV and PLUSH MOUNTAIN :) :) ) I do believe that TCP will do our stores much good.

    Before there was much uncertainty and a lot of unorganization. We had no organized way to have store maintenance done. We could not order things for repair because it was not seen as a necessity. Now TCP is sending us what we need and is helping us to restructure. Yes, 60% of our store force closed, and I do believe that will build up again to 600 if not more.

    Sorry to sidetrack. As I’ve said I have been with the store for 4 years and I have been in management for two. I’ve seen the ugly side of Disney and the good side of Disney. But from my experiences (and I’ve worked in 2 different locations) the store is nothing without the cast. The cast members either make or break the stores. You get some cast that just have a passion and love for Disney products that they are able to sell sell sell.. there are those who could care less either way as long as they get their check.

    As I finish out my last year in college, I look back on all my time at the Disney Store and it really does bring joy to my heart. I was offered a SM position by our district manager, so when I graduate I will begin training and assume the SM position- which is what I have always wanted, but education comes first. Anyways

    To all my fellow CM’s out there, management or not, you really do have the power in you- not only to make our guests happy- but to make your store a success. Believe me, one CM really does make the difference. I know a CM who can turn a $20 purchase in to a $120 purchase.. and while it’s not solely aboutthe money- this is the retail industry- and we’re here to make a profit- so do the best you can- and bring out the Disney Spirit in everyone around you

  21. As a cast memeber, i don’t really understand why all of the Disney store are overstaff, I work in a small store with 3 managers and 15 cast memebers, 15!!!!!, and the maxima hours for cast memeber just only 4-12 hours per weeks include the non-sense calling (If u work for Disney store, you know what i am talking about.) Anyways, i don’t really care the discount, but i want to know why the company treat the manager and the cast memeber so difference? they pay their management team so high(Compare to the cast memeber.) they got a good benefit, which is something that the CS never have had. I think when we talked about CP cut the CS discount. we should start and think what else Cast memeber can have.

  22. I’m a SM at TDS and I’ll tell you I’ve never worked for a company like this. They don’t know how to run a business at all. This crap with the sales that have been going on is insane. They tell us the night before a big sale starts that it ‘s starting. We are just expected to change days off and change all of our CMs schedules so that they are working more hours. I’m sorry but I usually make plans when I’m off and it’s wrong that corp just assumes that it’s ok to spring last minute stuff on us. (I’m talking about 8pm the night before the 30% started) If they had just planned correctly and told us the week before like a normal company we would have scheduled people to set up this sale and we would have scheduled the right coverage for the rest of the week. As for the stores being overstaffed I totally agree. As a SM I’m forced to hire all these people by the DM. I don’t see why we can’t have cms who work more than 8 hrs a week. Why would anyone stay at a job that you get 8 hrs at (and that is a good week). I’m looking for another better company to work for. One that understands that you do have a personal life and they can’t drop last minute things into your lap and expect it to get done.

  23. Have you looked at the condition of Disney Stores lately. Just as bad as the Children’s Place. Now, no Catalogs!! Prices up, quality down. Never the right size in stock. Nothing to speak about for adults “Shirts, Tee’s, Jackets etc” Bad Move, the should have just closed them like Warner Brother’s did!

  24. I just think now that the childrens place took over the magic is gone i walk in to the store now and dont feel the magic its a horriable feeling. I wish the disney company would buy back the disney stores and make the magic come back.come on mr. andrew p. mooney can you do something about this i want to be apart of the magic again.Think about it bussines would boom so much. The cast members at the boyton beach store would make it happen come on disney company bring the magic back.

    a true castmember always, jennifer negron

  25. I became a castmember because i wannted to be apart of the magic it feels good it felt good to know that i was apart of the magic i was on top of the world but when i found out that we were not about the magic any more my heart just broke into peaces and i was lost. now cast members come to work and there faces are just so sad and the magic is gone.The disney song a wish your heart makes is my favorite disney song now when i walk in to the disney store i will make a wish that the disney company would reconsider buying back the disney store in the north america.

    a true castmember always, jennifer negron
    boyton beach store

  26. I am currently a “CAST MEMBER” at the Disney Store, Virginia Beach, Lynhaven Mall. Regardless of what company bought out the store, it is up to Us “Cast Members” to still make the “magic” for all those who really don’t know the “back side” difference. If it’s about the money, the discounts and other things, then really you’re not working at the Disney Store because you enjoy it. We still have great benefits, we still carry “Disney Store” brand products and that in short is what we represent. “Disney” the name we sell. Magic is what you make of it. Don’t knock it for those who truly “LOVE IT.”
    See “Disney” in the eyes of a child. Smile more live and share the true “magic.” Corporate world will always be corporate world; it’s what you make of it!
    To all Disney dreamers, shoppers, cast members making dreams come true.
    Smile always, laugh frequently,
    Victoria Gibbons

  27. the childrens place isnt affiliated with the disney theme parks,thats why you cannot recieve a discount only the 30% at disney store

  28. I am a TCP employee and have been with the company over 5 years. I am absolutely disgusted with the news of merit raises. Is it really because the teams in the stores are not doing their jobs, or because the people at top are letting us down. I was told by my DM that 81% of our stores did not make plan. If thats the case it is probably because of what the shirts and ties are doing. Not us. To me it is not fair that they are taking it away from us. Granted the review system is set up for us to fail. Our bonus system (management) is crappy, and actually the worse I have heard of and now they are taking this away from us. They are not the best raise as it is but if you get a 25 cent raise it adds up for a full time employee to 480 a year it adds up after time. Sorry i’m aggravated and just had to vent.

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