Earlier this month Disney announced that it will be closing 20% of its Disney Store locations in the United States, totaling 60 stores across the country. It seems that the main reason behind this decision is the company’s focus on the e-commerce business. Stephanie Young, the president of consumer products, games and publishing, stated that customer expectations were changing, especially during the pandemic.
Consumers are now more inclined to shop online instead of having the full in store experience. Initially, the Disney Stores were designed to bring a bit of that Disney magic right to your local mall. As the massive Disney fan I am, just walking into their store always puts a smile on my face. They have something for everyone – from Disney kitchen supplies to baby clothes. But due to safety concerns from COVID as well as a growing trend towards e-commerce, they’re hoping to replicate the experience digitally.
Disney knows that the only way to succeed is to deliver customers’ current expectations, rather than holding on to old expectations that are no longer relevant. They hope that by improving the online experience and increasing the products available on ShopDisney, it will even out the store closings. With these new changes, Disney hopes to reach a wider audience and give an all-around better experience to everyone.
As major companies focus more on e-commerce we could start to see more brands closing down their brick-and-mortar stores. Is the in-person shopping experience a thing of the past? A challenge that Disney is tackling head-on is keeping the social aspects their customers love in the new e-commerce space. After all the future is digital, physical, and experiential.
The importance of expectations
While the closing of the Disney Stores is a big step away from the original magic that Disney provided, but since it’s in-line with recent changes in customer expectations, it’s a step in the right direction. Now more than ever customers prefer an online shopping experience instead of a traditional in store experience. Want to know more about how these customer expectations can impact your customers’ experiences? Tune into our webinar here.
Itzell Ramirez-Lopez is a marketing intern for Worthix. She is currently a fourth-year at the University of Georgia pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, with an emphasis in Digital Marketing. She is also pursuing a certification in Legal Studies. She will be graduating in May 2021.