Commentary

Disney Opening Shops Within Target To Peddle More Than 450 Items

Mickey Mouse, Star Wars Galactic Heroes and Sleeping Beauty will have a new home to hang their cap, helmets and tiara when 25 Walt Disney stores open within Targets across the country this October, Walt Disney Co. and the retailer announced at the D23 Expo in Anaheim yesterday. A preview version of Target.com/Disneystore  has already launched, and 40 more physical Disney stores-within-the-store are slated to appear over the next year.

“Disney, which operates about 300 of its own stores globally, is looking for new ways to reach customers amid weak traffic declines at malls. Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said there’s a 90% overlap between Disney and Target customers,” the AP’s Anne D’Innocenzio writes

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“Disney also has shops at about 600 J.C. Penney stores. But unlike Target’s Disney shops, they’re not Disney store branded and do not have the breadth of merchandise or the interactive features. Chapek told reporters that there are no plans to end the agreement with struggling Penney and said that the shops are doing well,” D’Innocenzio continues.

“Disney said in a statement that the ‘shop-in-shop’ would feature an array of more than 450 items from the company, including more than 100 products previously only available at its locations,” Reuters’ Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss writes

The locations of the first shops include Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Jacksonville, Austin and San Jose. They will be about 750 square feet in size and will be located near children's clothing and toys. Prices will range from $2 to $200, with many items under $20, according to Target. Its news release  also notes that Target CEO Brian Cornell joined Disney’s Chapek onstage “to announce this big news in front of a cheering crowd” at D23, which is in its sixth year.

The two executives also chatted with reporters on a conference call.

“Our fans are always telling us that they want more Disney. We believe that by extending our Disney footprint to Target stores we’re going to be able to give our guests that opportunity,” Chapek said, USA Today’s Kelly Tyko reports.

“Disney said it will be opening the first batch of stores at Target right as a new assortment of merchandise from Disney’s 'Frozen 2' and 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' hits shelves. It said it will also sell some collectible merchandise there, like dolls and apparel from its Disney Animators’ Collection,” CNBC’s Lauren Thomas writes.

“We know there’s a very strong overlap between both Disney fans and Target shoppers, so we’re looking forward to reaching Disney fans when and where they want to shop. It’s an opportunity for us to bring our brands together and delight our guests for years to come,” Target’s Cornell told the reporters.

“Ahead of last holiday season, Target added a quarter-million square feet of space permanently dedicated to toys across more than 500 stores. About 100 stores received a fuller remodel in the toy aisles. When it reported 2018 holiday results, Target said same-store sales were up 5.7%, with the toy category being one of its strongest,” CNBC’s Thomas reports. 

“As detailed in a Fortune feature published  last week, Target has won over legions of shoppers with renovated stores, a push in the toys category, and improved store brands. But Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a media briefing over the weekend that the retailer also wanted to have a strong slate of brands that shoppers can find more broadly beyond Target,” Phil Wahba writes  for Fortune.

“Retailers are increasingly carving out space in their stores for other brands and concepts. J.C. Penney Co. and Macy’s Inc. recently said they’d set aside space  within some of their stores for resale marketplace thredUp Inc. Also, Kroger Co. has branded sections  in some stores of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.,” Kimberly Chin writes  for The Wall Street Journal.

“Still, malls continue to struggle with foot traffic and store closures. The national mall vacancy rate was 9.3% this quarter at the end of the second quarter, up from 8.6% a year earlier, according to real-estate research firm REIS Inc.,” Chin adds.

Meanwhile, the legacy of “Good Ole Walt” continues to take new turns in different directions. The company has adamantly denied the allegations of a financial analyst it fired in 2017 who has filed several whistleblower tips with the Security and Exchange Commission alleging the company “materially overstated revenue for years,” Francine McKenna reports for MarketWatch.

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