Check out everything we know about Disney’s latest announcement to close brick-and-mortar stores to focus on online shopping.
This pandemic has not only affected what we shop for, but also the way we shop. According to IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, online sales skyrocketed 32.4% to $791 billion in 2020. Are you in the group that has ordered so much more online this past year? I sure am!
There’s something magical about entering Disney Stores, and being greeted by actual Disney Cast Members. Makes me feel kinda like I’m actually at Disney, at least for a little while. The immersive sights, sound, and merchandise make shoppers, including me, so happy!
Over the years, Disney Stores have been severely lessened in numbers. When my children were little, we would visit a Disney Outlet at the Disney Distribution Center in Jonesville, South Carolina. We picked up so many goodies for our kids. It was just amazing! Unfortunately, it closed years ago.
Our closest Disney Store is an hour and a half away in Charlotte, North Carolina. That’s a long trip to shop for Disney merch! When we visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, we always stop at the Disney Store. Other than that, we don’t get a chance to shop in person for Disney merch unless we’re actually at Disney.
Disney Store Closures
Until recently, Disney Springs third-party operated hotels offered Disney retail spaces that sold Disney World tickets, souvenirs, and snacks. Now, if you’re staying at one of these good neighbor hotels, you’re closest Disney merch can be found at Disney Springs.
Today, Disney announced it will close 20% of its brick-and-mortar Disney Store locations before the end of the year. At least 60 of the North American locations are slated for closure, according to Disney. Currently, there are 300 Disney Stores worldwide, including my favorite Disney Store in New York City’s Time Square.
If you’re able to visit Manhattan, you need to ride the “Tangled escalator.” It’s such an amazing experience, I end up embarrassing my family riding several times. (Check out the amazing picture above.)
Disney will make substantial store closures in Europe, according to Disney’s statement today.
Why This Change is Taking Place
Disney states that this change is due to changing consumer shopping patterns. Also, Disney wants to focus on online shopping experience to its Disney Parks apps and social media platforms. In other words, they will place a greater emphasis on ShopDisney.com. Are you like me and hope they package things better? They seriously need to invest in some bubble wrap.
Where to Find Disney Merch in Person
Disney continues offering more than 600 Disney Parks stores. In addition, Target, Disney outlets, and third-party retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Hot Topic, and Loungefly.com will not be impacted by this change.
Do you have a Disney Store nearby, or do you prefer to shop online? Please share your thoughts with us on our Facebook KtP Crew page.