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Walt Disney revamps stores worldwide

Walt Disney is redesigning its retail stores after seven years. Interactive experiences will be added with live streams of theme park parades. The world’s largest entertainment company is also launching a new shopping website.

Sale of toys, clothing and other merchandise are one way Disney generates revenue from its popular characters and inspires loyalty among fans. Disney’s physical stores are an important part of those sales. Disney now operates 340 retail stores around the world. In the newly designed stores, kids can battle Darth Vader on a giant video screen or interact with other characters from the Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel franchises. Store employees can tailor experiences for children celebrating a birthday, a good report card or another milestone. The same screen will show live feeds of parades at Disney theme parks.

The revamped stores feature a smaller collection of products, with employees and signs directing shoppers to a much broader array for all ages on Disney’s website. The retail spaces also have a new look that includes lower fixtures that make them feel more open. Disney’s retail stores’ operating income in the nine months through July 1 was 11 per cent of the company’s total revenue.