Disney’s retail arm, the Disney Store, has had its ups and downs and currently faces many of the same challenges other retail stores do – how to stay relevant when so much shopping has shifted online. To combat that trend Disney has launched both a new prototype Disney store design and shopDisney, a new e-commerce destination offering the best assortment of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel products.
“No one creates experiences like Disney and our pilot stores will be testing grounds for interactive features that will differentiate the Disney shopping experience in the changing retail landscape,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive. “Online, shopDisney is the ultimate destination for the most extensive collection of curated merchandise from our stores, parks, and licensed partners. This combination creates a powerful omnichannel experience that represents the next generation of Disney retail.”
Part of this shift will be to bring back more clothing and merchandise that is appropriate for adults, something the Disney Store concept has been missing for years. The new prototype stores and site were designed with dynamic layouts that allow flexibility in featuring the different worlds of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel as new content comes to market. The look and feel of both shopping destinations is light and contemporary, allowing product and content to shine. In store, digital elements such as giant LED screens were incorporated for custom-designed guest experiences that reflect Disney’s storytelling tradition.
“We are a storytelling company and our vision was to create a retail space that reflected our heritage,” said Gainer. “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.”
Cast Members and Characters engage with guests in a variety of interactive experiences such as opening the store each day with a special Welcome Celebration, learning and play activities in the stores’ Play Room as well as personalized celebrations for any guest. The most spectacular experiences take place each afternoon when guests gather to watch the parade stream ‘LIVE from Disney Parks’ and every evening before store closing when a specially created digital fireworks display is shown on the giant storefront screen.
The new Disney store prototypes are now open in Century City, Calif. and Northridge, Calif. in the US as well as in Nagoya, Japan and Shanghai, China. Two more prototypes will open in 2017: in Miami, Fla. Sept. 28 and Munich, Germany later this year.
The new product assortment at shopDisney.com reflects the company’s commitment to creating products tailored for different audience demographics, from kids and families to millennials, and to innovating beyond the traditional and expected. New categories have also been added to round out the assortment including: Trend Fashion & Accessories, Toys, Home, Collectibles and Parks. Longtime fans will be thrilled to find twice the amount of authentic Disney Parks merchandise and ‘Create Your Own’ customizable products as previously available.
“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,” said Paul Gainer, Executive Vice President for Disney Retail. “We’ve also added product categories and brands that speak to new audiences following the success of our collaborations in the fashion space.”
Co-branded products and elevated collaborations will be featured from brands such as Coach, Le Creuset, Spyder, Steiff, rag & bone and more. New and exclusive capsule collections from fashion-forward brands will regularly be introduced on the site’s shop-in-shop “The IT List”, launching with denim from SIWY featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse; and Disney Princess and Villain nail wraps from NCLA.