Disney to open Disney Baby stores
As part of its efforts to capture future Disney enthusiasts while they're still in the cradle, the Walt Disney Co. will open its first Disney Baby store next year at the Americana in Glendale.
Disney Consumer Products Chairman Andy Mooney said the company plans to open two such stores -- one on each coast -- to display the best of its new infant line, a category that the licensing juggernaut does not currently dominate.
The retail stores, particularly the one near its Glendale headquarters, would give Disney executives the opportunity to interact with the parents of newborns and refine product offerings that span apparel, nursery items and products for the bath. It's one of "a number of key initiatives to build Disney Baby as brand and business," Mooney said in a conference call before next week's Licensing International Expo in Last Vegas.
Disney Consumer Products has worked with a company called Our365 to gain access to new mothers and their infants in maternity wards and provide a free sample of the Disney Cuddly Bodysuit as part of samples they receive in the hospital.
Disney has made a concerted corporate effort to reach younger children.
Disney Channel offers about 60 hours a week of programming aimed at preschoolers, and earlier this year the channel debuted new series that introduce classic Disney characters in a new way -- including a youthful exploration of the Peter Pan story in "Jake and the Never Land Pirates." Next year, Disney Junior debuts as a stand alone, 24-hour cable channel.
-- Dawn C. Chmielewski
Photo: Disney Baby Monsters Inc. bodysuit. Credit: Disney