Target is expanding its partnership with Disney to bring Mouse House-branded in-store shops to more than 160 locations by the end of this year. The two companies originally teamed up in 2019 and currently operate 53 Disney shop-in-shop locations, which average approximately 750 square feet. The partnership also includes a co-branded online store that will be expanded as well.
Disney closed 60 of its North American stores earlier this year as part of a plan to reduce its brick-and-mortar footprint and focus on ecommerce. Now it appears that even more stores are slated for closure, with WDW News Today reporting that only 25 Disney Stores will remain in operation by Sept. 15, 2021. Instead, Disney said in a statement it would “focus on providing a more seamless, personalized and franchise-focused ecommerce experience through its shopDisney platform, which will be complemented by greater integration with Disney Parks apps and social media platforms.”
Expanding its presence at Target will allow the entertainment giant to maintain a foothold in physical retail that is less draining on company resources, particularly as the pandemic continues to dampen traffic at both Disney Stores and the company’s theme parks.
The news of the Target-Disney expansion comes on the heels of Macy’s announcement that it will be bringing famed toy destination Toys ‘R Us back to life, in the form of shop-in-shops at 400 locations and online beginning in 2022. This latest iteration of the once-powerful toy retailer will include dedicated sections divided by age, interest and category, as well as interactive experiences, activation centers and “iconic Toys ‘R’ Us elements,” according to Macy’s.
While Macy’s toy push won’t be in place for holiday 2021, Target is clearly setting out to make itself a top destination for toy shoppers. In announcing the Disney news, the retailer also touted its wide selection of toys — including its exclusive collection of branded toys from similarly defunct toy retailer FAO Schwarz — and convenient shopping options like same-day delivery and drive-up order pickup.
“We’re seeing more guests shop for toys at Target than ever before, and whether it’s Bullseye’s Top Toys or finding joy with one of the 1,300+ exclusive toys and games, guests are choosing Target for our inspiring, easy and affordable gift-giving experience,” said Nik Nayar, SVP of Hardlines at Target in a statement.