Disney stores to receive major transformation amid slump

In an attempt to reverse a recent sales slump, North Hollywood, Calif.-based Walt Disney Co. has decided to undergo a major renovation and overhaul of the company's image at all its retail stores. Disney is embarking on this concept at a new prototype store at the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa, Calif. Disney plans to roll out this concept in varying degrees to approximately 600 stores world-wide in the next three years. This new, revamped image will cost more than $300 million. As a result, Disney plans to close 140 stores as their leases expire, which will take several years.

Andrew Mooney, Disney's new president of consumer products worldwide, brought about this new transformation. The former Nike Inc. executive wants to turn the company into "an incredible consumer-related products company." He thinks that Disney played its hand too conservatively the past few years and now has to play catch-up, even though rivals such as Time Warner Inc. and Viacom are scaling back their studio-store businesses.

The new stores will dispense with the chain's familiar pink-and-green color scheme and window displays featuring Disney characters. Design changes will reflect the company's attempt to move beyond character-based items and merchandise. This effort will be supported with the first-ever television advertising campaign for the Disney Stores.

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