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  1. #1

    • Former Churro Jockey
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    What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    So, as someone who used to work at Disneyland for 3 years in the late 90's, has worked in sales now for the past 13 years, I think I can make a pretty good guess as to what is going on with the windows in Buena Vista Street. So here is my story of what (probably) is happening:

    Once Upon a Time...
    First of all, there are three different departments. There is Imagineering, who designed the props, Merchandising, who orders and decides what merchandise goes in what store, and BVS Guest Services, who run the stores. These three departments are not allowed to have any interaction with each other whatsoever.

    The executive vice president in charge of merchandise sales sets an arbitrary sales goal that is next to impossible to achieve. After the first quarter of being open (Jul - Sep), the stores don't meet their sales goals. They are given a pass for that quarter only, because they can say that guests were running past BVS to get to Cars Land. After the 2nd quarter (Oct - Dec) of not meeting their sales goals, the managers of each store in BVS that is not meeting it's sales goal is put on an "Action Plan." (in January) This basically means that they have to submit a plan as to how they are going to increase sales, and it has to be something that is different from what they did the previous quarter. Now, the important thing to know is that the managers have no control over what merchandise they sell, and they are absolutely not allowed to say that the reason their sales aren't what they should be is either 1) the merchandise they are trying to sell is boring, or 2) the sales goals are unrealistic. So they have to come up with something like putting more merchandise near the cash registers for guests to purchase while they are waiting in line, or opening the doors that were being kept closed for environmental reasons so that guests don't think they are closed.

    One manager of one store submits his or her action plan and says that they are going to display merchandise that the store actually sells in the window, because guests keep coming into the store trying to buy the fake merchandise that is in the window. (This may be true to a small extent, but the manager exaggerates it for the action plan). The 1st quarter of this year (Jan - Mar) passes and the stores still don't meet their sales goals. The VP calls another conference call of all the managers that are not meeting their goals and says that he now has a "Best Practice" to share with all of the managers, and that is they all have to put merch in their windows. So any stores that are meeting their sales goals don't have to do this, but the stores that aren't meeting their goals are now required to do this. It doesn't matter that this hasn't been proven to actually increase sales at BVS yet, the only thing that matters is that they're doing something that is different from what they did last quarter.

    So, in early April, every manager of every store that is not meeting it's sales goal is required by an executive who does not work in Imagineering or Merchandising to clear out their window and display merchandise that is actually for sale in the store. Now that summer is coming up, the parks will get more crowded, and the sales will go up naturally, and many stores that didn't meet their sales goals in the first quarter will meet them in the 2nd quarter. This will be attributed solely to the fact that they changed their window displays, and as of the 3rd quarter (early July) every merchandise store in each park that has any kind of fake window display will now be required to display actual merchandise in their window. This will become a standing "best practice", and the executive will get a nice bonus. The managers of the actual BVS stores will transfer the heck out of there and onto Main Street or somewhere that actually has consistently good sales year round, and by this time next year there will be no one working in the BVS shops that even knew that there was a time when the stores had their displays of fake merchandise from the 1920's.
    And They All Lived Happily Ever After!
    Last edited by Big D; 04-18-2013 at 05:38 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    Sad, but it makes total and complete sense.




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  3. #3

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Big D View Post
    These three departments are not allowed to have any interaction with each other whatsoever.
    Why?

  4. #4

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    Does anyone think Trolley Treats will remain the same? They display candy and they sell, what else, candy inside...

    A mean can dream can't he?...can't he?



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  5. #5

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Big D View Post
    These three departments are not allowed to have any interaction with each other whatsoever.
    Why?
    Let's just say that the internecine rivalry, political gameplaying and bureaucratic nest-feathering among the management of Disney's divisions and departments has to be experienced to be believed.
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  6. #6

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    The sense of this hypothesis shows how, despite so much praise to the contrary, the fundamental business model operating at the Disneyland Resort is still the mall-based retail model fully implemented by Paul Pressler. There is no thought or concern given to the greater whole. Buena Vista Street is operated like a common strip mall.

  7. #7

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    Big D's corporate tale is the sad reality of theme park operation.

    However Disneyland has had themed displays at The Emporium for years, and people still seem to be spending money just fine there...

    Maybe somebody should be asking our new friend The Accountanteer what insight he has into such a tangled mess. Maybe there is something us fans don't know about which is playing a factor in the strange BVS merchandise choices.

  8. #8

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    Talked briefly to another former Disneyland CM acquaintance regarding this - they can't confirm the specifics of the BVS situation, but report that their time at Universal after working for Disney was very much like this, except having 3 weeks, say, to turn things around profit-wise rather than a season or quarter, while not being able to specifically insult the products in a store due to guest feedback of what they actually wanted.

    Unfortunate that such is how it works.....

  9. #9

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    They'll never make their quota if they close DCA before Disneyland. The Emporium gets really, really crowded after the rest of the park closes for the night. This will never happen at DCA if Disneyland is open across the esplanade. Well, gee, I could shop at Five and Dime, or I could use my park hopper or AP to cross the way and try and ride all the mountains. What do you think most people will do? Disneyland is right there, it's open, and the same stuff is sold at the Emporium.

    Why not leave DCA at closing, ride Space Mountain, and do your shopping at the Emporium when Disneyland closes?

    That is the fatal flaw, because they won't want to pay to keep DCA open an hour longer.

  10. #10

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    The sense of this hypothesis shows how, despite so much praise to the contrary, the fundamental business model operating at the Disneyland Resort is still the mall-based retail model fully implemented by Paul Pressler. There is no thought or concern given to the greater whole. Buena Vista Street is operated like a common strip mall.
    I have to tell you that its not like a strip mall, I work in one and you are missing the fact that in the beginning there was not fake display. The rest sounds almost like my work.
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  11. #11

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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    If this is really going on, then that sucks. :/

  12. #12

    • Former Churro Jockey
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    Re: What is (probably) going on with the BVS windows

    Quote Originally Posted by The First Star View Post
    They'll never make their quota if they close DCA before Disneyland. The Emporium gets really, really crowded after the rest of the park closes for the night. This will never happen at DCA if Disneyland is open across the esplanade. Well, gee, I could shop at Five and Dime, or I could use my park hopper or AP to cross the way and try and ride all the mountains. What do you think most people will do? Disneyland is right there, it's open, and the same stuff is sold at the Emporium.

    Why not leave DCA at closing, ride Space Mountain, and do your shopping at the Emporium when Disneyland closes?

    That is the fatal flaw, because they won't want to pay to keep DCA open an hour longer.
    That's a really good point! It would have to be 2hrs longer, because don't forget, "for your shopping convenience", Main Street stays open an hour after park closing, but you're absolutely right.
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