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  1. #1

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    OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    OLC is giving up its interest and operations of the Disney Stores in Japan and they will now be operated by The Walt Disney Co.

    http://www.olc.co.jp/en/news_parts/20100204_01e.pdf

    This is a very sad development IMO. The Disney Stores Japan under OLC were a much higher quality store compared to their US conterparts.

    We have all seen the dumbing down and diluting of the merchandise offered at the US Disney Stores. The quality of the US Disney Stores merchandise is for the most part as many people put it, Wallmart/Target quality.

    The Disney Stores Japan always had new, unique, fresh and relavant merchandise to offer. If they now go to the US Disney Stores model, we will surely see a decline in quality.

    I hope that Disney decides it is in their best interest to leave the operations alone and allow the Disney Stores Japan to continue how they have been run. However, since OLC is selling them, I'm pretty sure they weren't as profitable as desired, and maybe "going cheap" the way the US stores did is perceived to be the right move to increase profits.

  2. #2

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    That is sad to see. Although I never made it to one of the Disney Stores in Tokyo(just the parks). I can imagain that the items they were selling were way better then what you could find in the states. And Im pretty sure the quality of merchandise will now go down. But then I wonder if the Japanese will still buy the items? And if they don't will Disney wise up and offer better items or close the stores? I guess we will have to wait and see. Still a sad thing.

  3. #3

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    Quote Originally Posted by Janell View Post
    And if they don't will Disney wise up and offer better items or close the stores? I guess we will have to wait and see. Still a sad thing.
    With the exception of the theme parks and resorts division, Disney tends to favor closing down operations rather than fix them. Things like DIG get shuttered, and then come back with a new approach. The US Disney Stores were sold off to The Children's Place and only recently have been "re-aquired".

    We shall have to sit with our fingers crossed and see how it all works out.

  4. #4

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger55 View Post
    With the exception of the theme parks and resorts division, Disney tends to favor closing down operations rather than fix them. Things like DIG get shuttered, and then come back with a new approach. The US Disney Stores were sold off to The Children's Place and only recently have been "re-aquired".

    We shall have to sit with our fingers crossed and see how it all works out.
    I didn't know they had been re-aquired by Disney. Interesting to see what they do with it if anything. I remember when they first had the Disney Store, there was a mall in So Cal in Santa Ana that had a Disney Gallery Story with the reg. Disney Store. They had some great stuff there, stuff you couldn't find other places. Collectables and just reg. cool items. I sooooo miss that store.

  5. #5

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    Since Disney bought back it's US stores, it looks like they have decided to "re imagine" them as concept stores. "Imagination Park" is the name I heard, and one of the first ones will be the new store near Times Square in New York. There may be others first, but I am not sure of the details. They want to make it more interactive, and have some "theme park" type entertainment. I don't know exactly what it means, but from the info I've heard, it seems to be geared to the princess set, which is too limiting, in my opinion.

    Anyway, I sure hope that Disney can run the Japanese stores well. OLC at least seemed to tie in the stores to TDR, even though there was different merchandise, there was a semi-related theme between the two. I also wonder if now that Disney will own them, will they still have ties to TDR?

  6. #6

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    I was happy when Disney first bought the stores back & was waiting for them to improve the merchandise & of all things, the merchandise actually got a little worse in my opinion, even Hoop/childrens place had some better stuff.

    It doesn't look to good for the Tokyo Disney stores- unless they somehow maintain the quality merchandise & continue getting the merchandise from the same manufacturers as they are currently receiving.

    But the standards are much higher in Japan than in the US, so hopefully things won't slip too much when Disney takes them back.

  7. #7

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    I've heard that Steve Jobs was teaming up with Disney on some Disney Stores. I wonder what that will bring and if it will be brought into the Japan Stores too.

    I wonder if they will make the state side stores more like the ones in Japan? If they seem to be doing well, maybe Disney has learned to do more of what they do at TDR. I mean they are trying to bring back the Disney Bear.

    Im not sure if iterative will make the stores better, depends on what they do. But I know for sure having good product will, like we have all said. Disney State side is sure missing the boat, but my bank account thanks them. lol

  8. #8

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    The Disney Store Japan was originally a Disney-operated enterprise from 1992 to 2002. Then OLC took over for ten years. Now, Disney has "re-acquired" them.
    JoeInJpn
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  9. #9

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    I know they did sell the Disney stores years ago to the OLC- now I've only been visiting the resort since 2004, but Joe, has the merchandise improved since the OLC took control, or is it basically the same as it was.

    I worked for the Disney Stores for over 10 years and have noticed the stores began going downhill a few years before selling off the stores overseas and eventually selling off to Hoop/Childrens place. I thought things would improve in the US when Disney bought the stores back last year, but sadly, the stuff has gotten worse. I just hope this isn't the same trend with the Japan Disney stores.

  10. #10

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    The product has actually gotten a little better since Disney's product has made it in the stores. (Keep in mind, buyers are 9-12 months ahead, so it took a year for Disney's buyers product to get put on the shelves). The plush is much nicer and the clothes quality has gone up a little. The problem is the marketplace has changed a great deal since the store opened in the late 80's. Discount retailers have taken much of the market and Disney has changed its focus to 3-12 age group. While we may not all like the product or the new focus, they had to do it for profitability. I myself am thrilled Disney not only took the stores back, but is reinvesting in them. The Imagination Park is supposed to be amazing. Steve Jobs supposedly had a lot of influence in it's design. Wait and see. Don't turn your nose up at it until you've tried it. Go Beavers!!

  11. #11

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    Quote Originally Posted by Beej1975 View Post
    I myself am thrilled Disney not only took the stores back, but is reinvesting in them.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but your comment above is about the US Disney Stores, right?

    OLC operated Disney Stores in Japan were not even slightly comparible to Children's Place or Disney operated Disney Stores in the US.

    I am hoping that the US stores do improve under Disney. What I am worried about is the Japan stores getting worse under Disney.

    P.S. The Disney Gallery Store in the Santa Ana Main Place Mall was excellent. I wish that would have become the model store for US Disney Stores.

  12. #12

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    There were a few test stores like that, although Santa Ana was the only one with a separate Gallery store. I agree, it was very nice. My "home store" growing up was at the Montclair Plaza in Montclair, CA, and it was one of only 2 with a "Mickey's Kitchen" restaurant attached. That was a lot of fun, and it's too bad the concept didn't stick. It made the store twice the size of a regular store, and the food area was raised so you could look out over the store. I think that was when the Disney Store concept was exciting...when it was new. It's never been able to sustain that magic over the years.

    I do hope that the new concept is exciting again, but I have my doubts if the focus is solely on 3-12 year old (girls especially). It makes it really difficult for adults to find any kind of enjoyment out of visiting the stores. Hopefully they will treat the Japanese stores with care. I guess we will have to wait and see what Disney does stateside, and in Japan.

  13. #13

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    To be honest, the new concept sounds awesome! I hope it is as good as they're describing it to be.
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  14. #14

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    I agree roger55, I wish The Gallery Stores had been the model for all the other states stores.

    gurgi, I never knew then Montclair store had a Mickey Kitchen. That sounds really cool. And a great idea for other stores. They should have Kitchen/eating areas in the stores. Keeps guest in there longer and looking at items to maybe buy.

    I wonder if that idea would work in Japan? If the stores had a place to eat with in the store(if there was room) would it work with the Japanese?

  15. #15

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    Re: OLC to sell Disney Stores Japan to Disney

    Nothing related to Disney Store to add. However, I had relatives in Montclair and Claremont and would visit Montclair Plaza at times. I grew up in West Covina, down the 10 Freeway. And I'll be there next month to see the folks! YAY!
    JoeInJpn
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