Joined: Mar. 2003
||Posted: Mar. 01, 2003 5:15 am/pm
When the Disney Store first opened, CEO Michael Eisner billed them as an outlet to promote the movies and theme parks.
The current plan (according to an article in the March 2000 edition of the Wall Street Journal): Transform some locations into a Disney home store for little kids (selling beds, quilts, lamps, light switches, etc). And what about the others? Aimed solely towards pre-schoolers!
If Disney Store merchandise was selling so poorly (which is why the original makeovers were ordered in the first place ... which all failed miserably, by the way), why not come up with better products instead of figuring out ways to diminish the stores reputation and, as a result, destroy everything that made the place so "uniquely Disney"? "Where" are the store collectibles (animation cells, framed pins, sculptures, watches, lithographs, signed Disneyana, etc)? Where are the "Art of... " books and broader selections of CD's, DVD's and videos?
Current Disney should stop churning out sequels to practically every one of their timeless animated classics and instead focus on producing more original fare. This makes way for great merchandising opportunities and as a result would give the Disney Store greater business.
I am "sure" all those highly educated Disney business men thought of this, though.
Hey ... Why not just turn Disneyland into a giant playground with shops? There's an idea. After all, it would be cheaper to operate and future generations will only it as a giant kiddie area. Not the family entertainment giant it once was.
Just like some of the Disney Stores are now. And If Eisner gets his way, just like every Disney Store in the "near" future will be.
The company today preaches about family, yet at the same time ignores the very aspects and principles of family entertainment upon which they were built.
When The Disney Store debuted, CM's would always go beyond the "basic" customer service. They would greet you at the door & ask you what your interests were and automatically reserve future items based on those interests.
And now, not only is this not practiced anymore at most locations, but the entire store has suffered because they're "not" practiced anymore. How? By destroying a "huge" part of what made The Disney Store so unique in the first place, people would rather go to a "regular" outlet such as Wal Mart or Costco for their Disney CD's, DVD's, etc.
The unique customer service offered by Disney Store Cast Members always left a sense of true commrodery and relationship with the guest. The friendly greeting at the door, the automatic reservation of Disney merchandise; This is what made many guests come back time and time again. Sure, they could have bought those soundtrack albums at Wal Mart. But It was at The Disney Store where they truly felt special. Where their newfound friends act as Cast Members. And Where that seemingly magical commrodery between guest and cast truly meant they were -- and Had to be -- no place else but Disney.
Taking this all away not only destroyed customer loyalty (the store literally lost hundreds of customers who would visit frequently to buy framed art or other high end collectibles), but it threw away the ideals and principles that Disney was founded on.
The company is celebrating Walt Disney’s 100th birthday this year.
Happy birthday, Walt.
|"It is not myself I am thinking about, but it is the effect of what might happen to whatever is left that bothers me" |
--Company founder Walt Disney
I went to my local Disney Store on the Sunday before Christmas, and it was practically empty! Save for a few people who were browsing the store (Half of which ended up not buying anything) ... it is now like a cramped, practically lifeless thing.
Makes me sad & mad at the same time...
Please join the official Disney Store campaign and sign the petition at:
Even the tiniest improvement to these stores would be welcome; or at least I think so.
If I had just one wish, it would be that the execs at Disney realize their boneheaded decisions and, at the very least, return high end Disney merchandise to all Disney Stores.
We cannot guarantee a change. But, if nothing is done, "nothing" will ever have a chance of changing.
Daniel / wdtv