In its latest move to attract more younger parents, Target announced on Sunday it was going to open 25 Disney stores within its stores on October 4, with another 40 locations to be added in 2020.
The “shop-in-shops” will be about 750 square feet in size and offer some 450 different items, including 100 that have only been available at Disney’s own stores, a fleet of 300 locations worldwide. The merchandise will feature products from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars, including items from its upcoming Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker properties.
For Disney, the move allows it to expand its retail footprint to a chain whose shopper traffic has been increasing and which is largely away from malls, which, generally speaking, are struggling to attract shoppers. Disney operates many small shops within J.C. Penney stores, which are mostly at malls and facing substantial sales declines. Disney’s own U.S. stores are also primarily in malls.
That has made Target attractive. The discount chain, whose 1,800 stores are mostly in strip malls or stand-alone locations, has been on a hot streak of late, last week reporting its ninth straight quarter of comparable sales increases. Crucially, it has been getting more shoppers to its physical stores on top of seeing its digital sales soar.
As detailed in a Fortune feature published last week, Target has won over legions of shoppers with renovated stores, a push in the toys category, and improved store brands. But Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a media briefing over the weekend that the retailer also wanted to have a strong slate of brands that shoppers can find more broadly beyond Target. (Target has long sold Disney products in its various departments.) Additional Disney stores within Target are likely.
The Disney news is the latest example of how much more attractive Target has become to large national brands that are seeing their sales at department stores struggle. Target also recently announced a bigger selection of products from Levi’s, including its red-tab jeans.
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