STORE SPACES

Disney testing new store design as part of omnichannel update

BY Marianne Wilson

Disney is bringing some of the magic from its theme parks directly into its physical stores.

As part of an update of its customer experience, offline and online, in what it said represents "the next generation of Disney retail,” Disney is testing a new store prototype in a handful of locations, including Century City, Calif. Northridge, Calif. Miami, Fla. (opening Sept. 28) Nagoya, Japan and Shanghai, China. The prototype is designed to bring the magic of Disney to retail through innovative technology, storytelling and cast member interaction, the company stated.

"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 Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of Disney consumer products and interactive.

The new prototype includes giant LED screens that allow for custom-designed customer experiences that are in keeping with Disney’s storytelling tradition. Store employees (including "characters") open the store each day with a special celebration, and also participate in learning and play activities with customers in the stores’ play room. Each afternoon, the store live streams the iconic signature parade from a Disney Park. Every evening before store closing, a specially created digital fireworks display is shown on the giant storefront screen.

“We are a storytelling company and our vision was to create a retail space that reflected our heritage,” said Paul Gainer, executive VP for Disney Retail. “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.”

In addition, Disney has launched a new e-commerce destination (shopDisney) that offers the "best assortment" of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel products for customers of all ages across fashion, accessories, toys, home and more. "New categories have been added to round out the assortment including trend fashion &amp accessories, toys, home, and collectibles.

The site also offers twice the amount of authentic Disney Parks merchandise and &lsquocreate your own’ customizable products as was previously available. Co-branded products and elevated collaborations will be featured from brands such as Coach, Le Creuset, Spyder, Steiff, rag &amp bone and more.

“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 Gainer. “We’ve also added product categories and brands that speak to new audiences following the success of our collaborations in the fashion space.”

Disney stores around the world will also be incorporating more product for shoppers of all ages, beyond their traditionally child-centric assortment.

The new prototype stores and site were designed with dynamic layouts that allow flexibility in featuring the different worlds of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel as new content comes to market. The look and feel of both shopping destinations is light and contemporary, allowing product and content to shine.

There are currently more than 200 Disney store locations in North America, along with more than 40 Disney store locations in Japan, one flagship location in Shanghai, China, and more than 70 Disney store locations in Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

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STORE SPACES

Nordstrom in deal with fast-growing online apparel start-up

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom is collaborating with a retailer known for its high-quality, ethically made fashion basics and "radical transparency."

The department store retailer's themed pop-up shop concept, [email protected], will be dedicated to a collection of products from Everlane. The in-store shop will launch in eight Nordstrom stores on Sept. 29, and run through Nov. 12. Items will also be available online.

Everlane's shop design at Nordstrom will be in line with the brand’s minimal aesthetic, and feature clean lines and warm tones. The shop will carry a wide range of categories, including denim, cashmere, shoes, leather goods, with goods for men and women.

The deal is Everlane's' first in-store retail partnership. The company launched online in 2011, with a promise of “radical transparency.” On its site, the retailer discloses how much it costs to make each item, breaking it down by materials, labor, duties and transport. It also reveals its markup. Everlane is set to open a retail store in its San Francisco hometown.

"I really believe in Everlane’s mission, and think they’ve become distinguished leaders in the transparent retail space,” said Olivia Kim, VP of creative projects for Nordstrom. “Their transparency model is forging a new path in retail by cutting out the middleman, and showing customers exactly where their products are being made and how much they really cost.”

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STORE SPACES

Discounter opens ‘store of the future’

BY CSA STAFF

Big Lots has finally unwrapped its store of the future.

Located in the company’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio, the store has a less promotional, softer look. Gaudy, aggressive signs have been replaced with more traditional aisle markers and color coding have replaced the chain’s signs that “shouted” at customers, Columbus Business First reported. Customers are greeted with a big “Hello” on a wall as they enter, with a “thank you” sign on the way out.

For more, including photos, click here.

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