Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chapter 15: Retailing

     The Walt Disney Company's retailing aspect consists of strategically located chain stores - 216 in North America, 107 in Europe, and 48 in Japan. The Disney Store is a specialty store, where you can find disney consumer products such as toys, clothing, games, costumes, DVD's, books, art & collectibles, home decorations, and electronic accessories.

     I happened to take the time to visit a local Disney Store myself, its located in Queens, New York at the Queens Center Mall. The lighting in the store was very bright, and the ambiance gave off a very exciting and youthful feeling. There is a big screen in the center of the store, which is the theater area and you can control what it plays. Of course, the control pad only has certain options of videos and music for you to play which are Disney animated movie trailers and Disney Radio music.

     The store is split up into many different sections which attract both girls and boys. For the girls, there's a huge Disney Princess section which is broken up into smaller sections of each princess which consists of costumes, shoes, dolls, accessories, and toys. For the boys, there is a Cars (the animated movie) section which consists of toys based on the main characters of the movie, video games, board games, and clothing. There is also a Pirates of the Caribbean section for the boys, it includes costumes; toys such as plastic swords, pirate ships, action figures, etc.;  and video games, along with board games as well.

     Another section, being the mutual one, is filled with plush toys based on almost every Disney animated character ever created. Varying from the original characters: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie, and Daisy to major and minor characters from the animated movies. In addition, there is also a section that's more likely for adults, it consists of items used for home decorations: such as bedding, towels, throw blankets, photo frames, etc.; books; DVDs; electronic accessories: such as clocks and wrist watches, iPod, iPad, and mobile phone covers; and art & collectible items such as snow globes, mugs, figurines, and portraits.

     The customer service was very friendly, as my little sister and I browsed throughout the entire store the employees asked if we needed any help. One particular employee had a brief conversation with my little sister about her favorite Disney character and then recommended me with which toy would satisfy her the most. To test out how "friendly" they really are, I purposely kept denying every recommendation and stated that I was "just looking." I was hoping to aggravate the employee in order to see her fail to stay calm and friendly, instead she surprised me with a good sense of humor and ultimate patience. In the end, we left empty handed because I was there as a marketer not as a consumer.

     My overall experience at the Disney Store was surprisingly fun, and satisfying. I was impressed by the way the store was laid out, how they had each section to satisfy each target market including parents. Customer service, in my opinion, was excellent and I can see why many children like to go there not for any main purposes but just for pure entertainment.

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