Retailer JCPenney is hoping some of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust will attract parents and their children into its recently launched Disney Shop inside some 565 stores nationwide. Penney’s had been selling select Disney merchandise on its website jcp.com since early September and now has cut the ribbon on Disney Shop as part of its redesigned children’s department.
There is no mistaking the Disney footprint. At the JCPenney store at the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, as soon as you arrive in the children’s department there is a larger than life Mike Wazowski in the middle of the shop welcoming children and their parents to browse the merchandise.
While selection is limited to items such as toys like plush Disney characters and action figure playsets to princess dolls and children’s apparel, the merchandise is staged on 800 to 1,000 square feet of retail space. What is particularly appealing is price. Under the arrangement Penney’s can sell Disney merchandise at discounted prices. For instance mini-plush which sell for $9.50 retail at Disney Store goes for $8.00 at JCP.
Other merchandise occupying shelf space includes the always popular Disney princess costumes complete with matching accessories like tiaras, jewelry and shoes, Woody and Buzz Lightyear attire, Cinderella, Merida and Snow White dolls, action figures from movies like “Cars” and “Planes,” and gift bags.
The one-eyed-wonder Wazowski and some of his Monstropolis friends are currently center stage as Penney’s and Disney prepare for the DVD release of “Monsters University” on October 29th. Plans are already thawing on the drawing board for Disney’s upcoming holiday release “Frozen” to be featured in the shop closer to the Thanksgiving weekend premiere of the movie. Characters like Olaf, Anna and Elsa are waiting their turn to debut center stage at the retailer.
According to Betsy Schumacher, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for children’s at JCP, the addition of the Disney Shops is expected to be a major draw in the kids department. Schumacher sees the launch as “offering customers an entirely new selection of high quality gifts just in time for the holiday season” and beyond. For Disney it is another example of finding new ways to meet the purchase behaviors and patterns of customers. Disney Retail executive vice president Paul Gainer says the Mouse House is excited to give consumers “a new way to engage with their favorite Disney characters and stories.”
And just like in the theme parks and Disney Stores, whenever a new movie hits the screen, the Disney Shop inside JCPenney and jcp.com, will be updated with new merchandise reflecting characters from Disney’s wonderful world of animated feature films.