Disney Stores More Like Disney World
The Walt Disney
Company, with an assist from Steve Jobs and Apple’s retail operations
group, is undertaking a major remodeling effort at its 340 Disney Store
locations in the U.S. and Europe. The plan is to take some of excitement
of the Magic Kingdom and transplant it into the store environment. The
new concept is called Imagination Park.
does not need another place to sell Disney merchandise – this only works
if it’s an experience," Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide,
told The New York Times.
stores were like museums that were all gift shop without the experience
of the museum," Richard Bates, chief creative officer at The Brand Union,
told Brandweek. "Your
goal is to immerse them in the brands so that, they aren’t just coming
into the store, they want to buy so they can have a piece of that experience."
to spend about $1 million per store to create the new experience that
makes use of interactive technology and entertainment to draw shoppers
into locations and keep them there.
Kids will be able to choose
film clips to watch in in-store theaters. They’ll also take
part in karaoke contests or chat live via satellite with stars from shows
running on the Disney Network. Computer chips embedded in packaging will
activate hidden features.
Mr. Jobs, who
serves on the Disney board, is said to have encouraged the company to “think
bigger” when it came to the remodels. Disney was given access to proprietary
information about Apple’s retail operations as it worked to create Imagination
A piece of
advice that Mr. Jobs offered and Disney followed was to build a prototype.
The store located in Glendale, Calif., impressed Bruce Tobin, executive
vice president with Simon Property Group.
spectacular – beyond our imagination," Mr. Tobin told the Times.
"These are going to be true destinations."
Questions: Is Disney on the right track with the Imagination Park concept?
What do you think of the role of Steve Jobs and Apple in the concept’s
development? Will we see more Apple-like environments in retail going
- Disney’s Retail Plan Is a Theme Park in Its Stores – The
New York Times
- Steve Jobs and Tinker Bell – BBC
- Disney Transforms Stores – Brandweek