Have you been to the Disney Store lately? Chances are your local location is getting ready to close “on or before September 15, 2021”.
I found out about a week ago that my favorite Disney Store is, in fact, one of the ones closing. Don’t get me wrong, I have done my fair share of shopping through the ShopDisney app, but getting to see items in real life is still a valuable experience. So for me, I will be greatly missing my Disney Store and the local brand of magic it brings to a an otherwise normal trip to the mall.
I suppose this news should not be surprising considering the very first Disney Store ever to open (at the Glendale Galleria in 1987) closed permanently in July of 2021, a mere couple months before my store in Concord, CA closes in September. Disney explained the reasoning behind the closings is so the company can focus on e-commerce as well as expand their efforts of more Disney Stores inside of Targets (so get ready for the Target AND Disney tax if this is happening in your Target), with over 100 being added by the end of the year. In total, 60 Disney Stores (and outlets) will be eliminated by the end of 2021.
Stephanie Young, president of consumer products games and publishing, told media “over the past few years, we’ve been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world. We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected e-commerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”
One of the many things I liked about the reimagined stand alone stores, was the local touches that were added subtly into the décor. For example, Mount Diablo (among other local landmarks) can be seen in the boarder of the Concord store accompanied by various Disney characters. All these details meshed seamlessly and were so charming and well thought out. Mount Diablo is a familiar sight in this part of the Bay Area, though it is currently shrouded in wildfire smoke (which is a whole other subject).
The opening of a new Disney Store (or a reimagined store) has always been a big deal. When the second official Disney Store ever opened in San Francisco on Pier 39 in 1987, Mickey and Minnie were transported to the site via the Blue and Gold Ferry and escorted by a marching band to the ribbon cutting ceremony.
These openings have always been met with excitement and crowds ready to spend their money to bring home some Disney merch while not at the parks. The same store that I visited today, I also attended its reopening celebration on May 2, 2015 and remember how exciting the atmosphere was after the long absence of our store leading up to the reimagining. The first couple hundred guests in line also got a special pair of ears to take home for free.
You could usually tell when the Disney Store was having a special giveaway or promotion because a line would be formed outside the mall doors well before any of the stores would be opening for the day. People are only there that early lining up for either the Disney Store or a popular shoe drop – and you could usually easily differentiate between these collectors easily.
So now it’s time to say goodbye, and it’s sad. The Disney Store is where I would go when waiting for my mom to go through all the clearance racks at Macy’s. If your store is closing, everything is 30% (which can be combined with your Disney Visa card discount for a 37% discount), so if you’ve had your eye on anything and you have a local Disney Store that is closing go check it out and say goodbye while you’re at it.
If you want to check on your closest Disney Store check the locator here. Carpe Kingdom.