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Topic: Disney Stores to be sold at auction next year?, No clear signs of a buyer< Next Oldest | Next Newest >

RichKoster Offline

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Posted: July 23, 2003 10:50 am/pm Quote

Disney hires Bear Stearns, Goldman to sell stores

Disney has had casual talks with some potential buyers of all the Disney Stores, but the two investment banks (Bear Stearns & Goldman), hired in the last week, will spearhead the drive to transfer the money-losing division to a company which would pay Disney royalties, a company such as Oriental Land Co.

Full story.


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utilidor27 Offline

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Posted: July 24, 2003 12:00 am/pm Quote

I must have been oblivious to the news regarding the Disney Stores lately, I did not know they were in such financial straits. Do you know if this means that the remaining stores will no longer be carrying strictly Disney merchandise, and what is going to happen to the Disney merchandise section on the Web?

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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: July 24, 2003 12:07 am/pm Quote

All of that depends on if they convince a company like Oriental Land Co. to keep the stores running as they are and just pay Disney a commission (actually, I think Oriental Land Co. should make changes -- based on their Disney parks in Japan I think they could do a much better job with the Disney Store than the current batch of people in charge of them now at Disney).

As to what happens to the Disney Store online -- and the Disney Catalog and Disney outlet stores, too, for that matter -- we'll just have to wait and see.


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: July 24, 2003 9:45 am/pm Quote

For even more details, here's another news story about this.

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goofyestes Offline

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Posted: Aug. 03, 2003 8:15 am/pm Quote

It made me sad when I found out the Disney had closed a bunch of their stores.  I live in a rural area and had to drive over three hours to the nearest Disney Store.  Now that store is gone.  I hope the catalog will add more things to their store for those of us who are unable to make it to a store.  The selection in the catalog never seems the same as in the store, like some stuffed toys, pins, and clothing.
Niki :unhappy:


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Goofyteer Offline

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Posted: Aug. 03, 2003 9:14 am/pm Quote

I agree Niki. If the Disney stores are being downscaled then they need to offer the better stuff in their catalogs too.

But maybe your Disney store is different from mine. For some weird reason mine has had nothing but children's toys in it for quite some time without much variety. I've found it wishing it had some of the stuff in some catalogs! Maybe some offer more than others?


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Tigger58 Offline

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Posted: Aug. 03, 2003 9:40 am/pm Quote

The Disney Catalog  offers a LOT more  than any of the stores!   I work for the Catalog!  They closed  our local Disney Store in my area too! But I always shop the  catalog  because it has  much more selection........

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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 22, 2003 8:33 am/pm Quote

Disney Stores auction will push into next year

Quick quote:
Disney will have to wait until next year to see if it can sell its retail stores as industry analysts and bankers expressed doubts about whether it will find a buyer for the ailing chain.

Disney first said in May it was exploring options for its mall-based stores, which sell items that feature its world-renowned characters, including Winnie the Pooh T-shirts, Lion King DVDs and Mickey Mouse stuffed animals.

Five months later, there are still no clear signs of a buyer emerging. Gary Foster, a spokesman for Disney's consumer products division, said the company has seen some interest, but it expects the process to last into next year.

The drawn-out sale invited comparisons to AOL Time Warner (TWX) -- as it was known until recently -- which quietly closed its Warner Bros. Studio Stores two years ago after it could not find a buyer for them. Foster said Disney may have to go the same route, or it could keep the stores on a smaller scale.

The Disney brand is generally considered better recognized and more highly valued than that of Warner Bros., but similar problems plague the North American stores and could deter prospective buyers, analysts said. Disney's stores in Europe are profitable.

Both media companies sold hundreds of licenses for their famed characters, flooding the market with merchandise. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) , for example, is Disney's biggest customer and sells some of the same goods cheaper than Disney does at its own stores.

"The stuff is in every store, every discount store and every mass merchant retailer, so it becomes questionable whether a specialty store selling the same merchandise has any real value," said George Whalin, president of Retail Management Consultants in San Marcos, California.

One person close to the process, who asked not to be named, said about 15 to 20 suitors expressed preliminary interest for either the European or U.S. chain, or both, and Disney sent them confidential packages of information about the stores.

Foster declined to discuss specifics, but he said the company cautioned earlier that it could take as long as a year for the auction to run its course.

U.S. retailers tend to avoid making big moves at the end of the year because the November-December shopping season can account for up to 40 percent of annual sales.

Mike Gallant, an analyst at CIBC World Markets, estimated that the chain lost about $50 million on $1.05 billion of sales last year. Disney reports financials for its consumer products unit but does not break out information about the stores.

Disney said in May when it announced its mid-year earnings that the stores have been a drag on the consumer products division because of the soft retail market.

"My contention is that they are going to have to close a great number of these stores or close the thing altogether," said Whalin, the retail consultant. The sentiment was echoed by bankers and analysts who follow the media and retail sectors. (Additional reporting by Peter Henderson in Los Angeles and Emily Kaiser in Chicago)

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swall918 Offline

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Posted: Oct. 23, 2003 8:15 am/pm Quote

I'll miss the Disney Store, but...

-the store near us has really changed over the past year or so; now it's basically kids clothes and stuffed animals. I used to buy snowglobes, figurines, books, teapots, cookie jars....

- the Magic Kingdom/Disney Club will be gone at the end of the year, therefore eliminating the discount

- the CMs are less knowledgeable than they used to be. In the past, even the store CMs were required to attend "Disney University" training.

If they could turn back time and bring back the original Disney Store merchandise and feeling, then it would be worth saving.


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MKBaughan Offline

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Posted: Oct. 23, 2003 1:33 am/pm Quote

The first DS in our area closed this summer.... the other two are still operating.... I miss the old merchandise too... My favorite thing was the mug sales... they had such nice mugs... now all I find are toys, and kids clothes and a very few adult clothing of any kind.  I don't know why Disney always wants to take something good, oversturate the market with it, and then have to downsize or cancel it... Anybody else see the WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE connection here?  That show would still be on if the powers that be had not used it as the basis for a whole TV  schedule.
I think Regis was good as the host, and I think he was sort of made the fall guy in a round about way.  Oh, well, I am rambling again      :confused: I hate to see the stores close, but, retail is a risky business... and if you don't keep up with your target customers, it doesn't work.   I love the Disney Channel, but I hate all the new programming... I miss the old VAULT DISNEY stuff late at night...I guess I am just too old to appreciate the shows....I am jumping around and rambling again, aren't I? :blush2:


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