Disney is testing a new major redesign of it’s retail stores for the first time in many years. Along with this new design test, they have re-branded the online site, and it has become shopDisney. New interactive and video options will become a part of the shopping experience as well.
The newly designed stores will feature a smaller selection of items, with employees and displays enticing consumers to find more expansive collections online for all ages. The stores are being redesigned with a more open feel and lower fixtures. According to the New York Times, the newly designed stores will offer experiences such as a child having a battle with Darth Vader on a giant video screen, or being able interact with other characters from the four major franchises: Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel.Cast Members will be able to customize experiences for children celebrating a birthday, a good report card or another milestone. The large screen will show live feeds of parades at Disney theme parks. The new remodel and design is being tested at the two California stores as well as in Nagoya, Japan, and Shanghai. Munich and Miami are slated to be redesigned later this year.
Disney is also launching a new website today, some of us may have already started to see the change. I personally have been being redirected to shopDisney.com for about 2 weeks now. This is Disney’s response to the decline of Brick and Mortar store shopping. While they know store fronts are an important part of it’s sales and customer base, they knew they had to elevate and improve the experiences that we have both in stores and online. Retail has been drastically changing for years, and Disney being the innovative company they are, big changes are expected.
Personally I haven’t gotten used to the new online layout via desktop view. I’m hoping it’s because it’s new and not what I’m used to. The images appear VERY large on the desktop view, and you can only see a few items at a time. The site no longer loads as a different mobile site, and conforms to the phone browsers, which is nice however.
What do you think of the bold new direction the Disney Store and website are headed? Do you like the new shopDisney website, or are you more interested in seeing the new remodeled stores?