New Disney Store design: ‘immersive, one-of-a-kind retail experience’

After plenty of missteps in the retail world, Disney is finally generating positive buzz, unveiling its new prototype just outside Los Angeles. The new Disney Store lets kids build toy custom cars inside, conjure up princesses in magical mirrors, and follow trails of pixie dust; an additional 19 newly designed stores are scheduled to open throughout the rest of the year.

Disney Store recently celebrates the launch of its newly-designed store with a grand opening event at The Shops at Montebello complex in Montebello, Calif., just outside of Los Angeles. The high-tech makeover of Disney Store solidifies the retailer’s global leadership in children’s retail and activates the future transformation of its more than 300 locations worldwide.

Among the many new attractions of the newly designed store is the first-ever DisneyPixar CARS-branded RIDEMAKERZ experience which sets the stage for kids of all ages to build 1:18 scale toy custom cars inside of Disney Store.

The Montebello store is the first of 20 newly designed Disney Store locations that will open across major markets in the United States and Europe in 2010. The 4,800-plus square foot store’s floor-to-ceiling remodel now features multimedia technology, interactive storytelling and Disney Store exclusive merchandise that bring Disney’s most beloved characters to life for families in the local community.

“As part of Disney, we’re committed to the value of entertainment and exclusive experiences,” said Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide. “Disney is setting a new standard for the specialty retail category by integrating robust technology and creative store planning to make each visit customizable and that much more memorable. This is truly an immersive, one-of-a-kind retail experience for children and families that only Disney could deliver.”

Technology is integrated throughout the new store to create magical moments for guests:

The newly designed Disney Store is merchandised by franchise neighborhoods so guests can easily shop by character or theme and is anchored by several “hero fixtures” including:

  • The DisneyPixar CARS-branded RIDEMAKERZ attraction is a one-of-a-kind immersive car building and customizing experience. Launching with three favorite CARS characters — Lightning McQueen, Mater and Sally — fans use tools to assemble their car, and their imagination to customize it with a wide selection of rims, side pipes, hoods scoops, blown engines, spoilers and many more accessories. DisneyPixar CARS-branded RIDEMAKERZ toy vehicles will only be available within the new Disney Store design and, later this year, at RIDEMAKERZ retail locations.
  • The Disney Princess Castle with Magic Mirror – A child-sized princess castle anchors the Disney Princess neighborhood and inspires kids to make believe. As they walk under the iconic castle they encounter a magic mirror and with the wave of a wand, they watch in delight as their favorite Disney Princess character appears.

A customizable shopping experience: The new store concept also includes the launch of an all new in-store application where guests can customize their shopping experience. Accessed via an interactive kiosk with touch screen, this animated experience gives users the ability to navigate a 3-D view of all Disney Store and products and discover the latest Disney Store news via video clips, articles, and social media feeds. This application allows the Disney Store to share its news to customers, who can then share information and in-store events via email, Twitter and Facebook.

The Disney Store Theatre: The newly designed stores will also feature a theater as part of its marquee attractions. Guests can pick from a selection of pre-loaded content that will be updated regularly and can view classic and new Disney entertainment, sneak-peek previews, music videos and more. The theater will also serve for special in-store events such as reading time, scavenger hunts and more.

The “Pixie Dust Trail” and “Magical Trees”: With its glistening blue glitter, the Pixie Dust Trail leads guests through the store and to major interactive elements as they enjoy a Disney-themed skyline and surrounding magical trees which are programmable with changing colors, images, and music set to an array of Disney themes.

About Disney Store

The Disney Store retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America, Europe, and Japan. Disney Store is an affiliate of Disney Consumer Products, the business segment that extends the Disney brand to merchandise. Disney Store carries high-quality products, including exclusive product lines that support and promote Disney’s key entertainment initiatives and characters. Disney Store opened its first store in Glendale, California and, in doing so, originated the themed retail business model. There are currently more than 200 Disney Store locations in North America; more than 40 Disney Store locations in Japan; and more than 100 Disney Store locations in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal, in addition to an online store, Each Disney Store location offers a magical shopping experience that can only be delivered by Disney (NYSE: DIS), one of the world’s largest and most successful entertainment companies.

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