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Disney tests new prototype stores online and offline

Disney is testing a new prototype store design in Shanghai, China and Nagoya, Japan as well as other cities in the US and Europe.

According to the company, the new design combines innovative technology, storytelling and cast-member interaction to take “Disney magic to retail” through special learning and play activities, personalised celebrations for guests and a daily live stream of a Disney Parks parade.

Disney store 1

The US stores are in Century City and Northridge in California and Miami, Florida, with another scheduled to open in Munich, Germany, later this year.

“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 Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media chairman Jimmy Pitaro.

Meanwhile, Disney has revamped its online experiencing, launching which it says offers an unparalleled assortment of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel products across categories that include fashion, accessories, toys and home. It sells “best-in-class brands,” as well as authentic products from Disney Parks and Disney Store.

Disney store 2

“Online, ShopDisney is the ultimate destination for the most extensive collection of curated merchandise from our stores, parks and licensed partners,” said Pitaro. “This combination creates a powerful omnichannel experience that represents the next generation of Disney retail.”

The website and prototype stores are both designed with dynamic layouts that spotlight product and content but allow the flexibility to feature the different worlds of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel as new content debuts. Both also offer expanded product assortments for guests of all ages.

“ShopDisney’s vast selection of merchandise across a wide range of categories reflects the Company’s commitment to creating products tailored for different audience demographics, from kids and families to millennials, as well as to innovating beyond the traditional and expected,” the company said.

“The online destination features co-branded products and elevated collaborations from top brands such as Coach, Le Creuset, Spyder, Steiff and more, as well as new and exclusive capsule collections from fashion-forward brands on ShopDisney’s “The IT List,” home to “new, now and noteworthy” items guests won’t find anywhere else.

“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 VP 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.”

There will also be new items geared toward an expanded audience in the prototype stores, which go beyond their traditionally child-centric assortment to incorporate more product for guests of all ages. The prototype stores will use digital elements, such as giant LED screens, to present custom-designed guest experiences – including the Live from Disney Parks parade stream every afternoon and a nightly digital fireworks display on the store’s giant storefront screen – to reflect Disney’s storytelling tradition and create magical experiences for local communities that, in many cases, may be far from a Disney theme park.

“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.”

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