Thursday, March 27, 2008

Disney to Resume Control of Disney Stores

Since 2005 Disney Stores have been run by a subsidiary of The Children's Place. The Children's Place has declared Ch. 11 bankruptcy for this subsidiary and expects to close 100 stores and return control of over 200 other stores to Disney.

Children's Place clothing stores are not affected by the bankruptcy.

I hope that Disney resuming running the Disney Stores will lead to improved store quality and merchandise. The stores used to have a wide variety of merchandise, including items which appealed to adults. (I really miss Santa Ana's long-gone Disney Gallery store, which only sold merchandise aimed at adults and collectors... At least we still have the Disneyana store at Disneyland!)

There have been occasions in the last couple years when the stores have had nice seasonal items -- they had a wonderful line of summer plates and cups last year, as well as pretty serving items for Easter 2007 -- but for the most part the merchandise the last few years has been boringly generic. The toys are often cheaply made junk. Also, some of the stores have not been well kept and are looking run down.

I've shopped at Disney Stores since the day the first store in our area opened, but I rarely visit anymore, for the above reasons.

I hope Disney will give me a reason to return.


Blogger Irene said...

I so agree with your comments. But I also remember that about a year or two before Disney sold to The Children's Place the Disney Stores were catering exclusively to children with very little for adults. Their service was also lacking and the staff did not pick up the place to keep it looking nice. I remember a lot of articles about this on the various Disney sites at the time.

I too hope they bring them back to what they once were. I also hope they go back to a better "look" for the stores. A lot of the really neat Disney things that were on display were removed and replaced with the generic stuff of which you speak.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I agree with you about the timing. Disney let the stores "go" sometime before Children's Place took over. It seems as though they decided to try to go for cheap products/high volume sales but they turned off a lot of Disney fans in the process.

The Santa Ana store became particularly awful, with a dirty tile floor and unkempt displays, as well as employees who obviously had not been trained "the Disney way." Westminster has been in better shape than Santa Ana in terms of both the store and the staff members, but it's still rundown and unappealing compared to how it used to be run.

We all used to find the most wonderful gifts there...snowglobes, jewelry boxes, adult-sized clothes, beautiful dishes (such as a gorgeous ceramic Pooh Easter candy basket), holiday merchandise, etc. Sadly, those days are mostly gone, other than the nice items I mentioned finding last year. I checked this year in hopes they would have equally nice items at Easter (in 2007 I got a lovely ceramic egg-shaped plate with Bambi on it) but no such luck.

Hopefully Disney has realized that the trend they started and Children's Place ran into the ground is not a winning business strategy!!

Best wishes,

10:48 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Ditto on the Gallery comments. I have a 'thing' for Donald Duck & loved checking out (quite literally, actually) the 'non-plush' collectibles they had behind glass.

Now, whenever I'm at the mall & walk past, there's the same lady hawking cheap squeeze bottles in the shape of the latest animated film character!

5:33 PM  

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