Disney Store at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles – 2017 Prototype | Source: Disney

Mickey Mouse and friends are heading out of the mall.

The Walt Disney Co. revealed plans to accelerate its focus on building its digital retail business amid a plan to “significantly reduce its brick-and-mortar footprint.”

In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the company said that it plans to close at least 60 stores in North America this year as it revamps its shopDisney platform to provide a wider range of products spanning the company’s vast portfolio of intellectual property (IP) and creates a more seamless connection to the Disney Parks apps and social media channels.

“While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer,” says Stephanie Young, president, Disney consumer products, games, and publishing. “Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world. We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected e-commerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”

Disney Store at Target
A Disney Store at Target | Source: Target Corp.

Despite the fall in foot traffic for Disney’s mall-based stores, its partnership with Target appears to be growing. The company opened 25 Disney Store shop-in-shop locations in 2019 and that footprint has more than doubled over the past year. As of last fall, Disney Store in Target expanded to 53 locations and a digital footprint at target.com.

Disney says that its expanded assortment of new product offerings this year will extend further into the adult market with “new and elevated” merchandise, including apparel collections, artist collaborations, streetwear, premium home products, and collectibles.

No word yet on which Disney Store locations will be closing or the timeline for their liquidation sales.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.