Disney Opens First Apple-Inspired Store
first of its 300 planned revamped Disney
Stores in Montebello, CA. Inspired
by Apple Inc.’s design team, the store
features multimedia technology and interactive
storytelling with a goal of keeping shoppers entertained for 30 minutes.
the features of the 4,800 square foot store:
- A Pixar RIDEMAKERZ area that allows people to assemble and accessorize
their favorite Cars character. A wide selection of rims, side pipes, hoods
scoops, blown engines, spoilers and other accessories enables customer to
customize the cars to their liking;
- A child-sized Disney Princess Castle including a “Magic Mirror,” in
which a Disney princess can be summoned with a wave of the wand to tell stories
- A Disney Store Theatre featuring classic and new Disney entertainment.
Customers can also use a touch screen to play music videos, movie trailers
and other film shorts on a 12-foot screen in a gazebo-like theater enclosure.
In the vein of Apple’s lecture spaces, the theater will also serve
for special in-store events such as reading time, scavenger hunts and other
- Touch-screen kiosks placed around the store give users the ability to navigate
a 3-D animated view of all Disney Store and DisneyStore.com products and
discover the latest Disney Store news via video clips, articles, and social
media feeds. Customers can then share what they viewed online via e-mail,
Twitter and Facebook;
- Thirteen-foot trees surrounding the store are programmable with changing
colors, images, and music set to an array of Disney themes;
- A Pixie Dust Trail that leading guests through the store and the major
- A scent, called “Imagination,” supporting store ambience;
- Employees carry miniature receipt printers for mobile checkout.
Due to mounting costs, Disney licensed most of its stores in 2004, including
to The Children’s Place in the U.S. But the company repurchased about 220 locations
in 2008 while closing 100 doors in the U.S. in the process. Last year, it tapped
proprietary information about the Apple Stores’ development and operation
and also hired Apple Store designers in preparing for a relaunch.
for Disney, compared to other retailers, is that they have to be extra good in
stores, because their product is sold in other kinds of stores,” George
Whalin, a retail consultant and RetailWire BrainTrust Panelist, told MediaPost.
But he added that hiring Apple’s designers was “a stroke of genius.” Combining
the new interactive-elements with its character franchises and marketing clout, “they’ve
got the wherewithal to do something truly magical.”
Discussion Question: What interactive elements at Disney’s revamped stores
appear most promising? What will be the primarily hurdles in making Disney’s
revamped format work?
- Disney Store Celebrates Grand Opening of New Store Design – Walt Disney
opens first revamped Disney Store – Los Angeles Business Journal
- Disney Revamps Stores to Add Magic Mirrors, Theaters – Bloomberg
- Disney Unveils New Store Prototype – MediaPost