Target announced yesterday that it’s opening dozens of permanent Disney stores within its own stores over the next year, as it invests in more unique ways to drive foot traffic. On Oct. 4, 25 Disney stores will open at certain Target stores across the country, in cities including Philadelphia, Denver and Chicago. Forty additional Disney locations are planned to open by October 2020, Target said. The big-box retailer will also be launching a Disney-themed experience on its website, beginning Sunday, where shoppers can find products from the Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars brands, among others. In expanding its partnership with Disney, Target will also be opening a small-format store near the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, in 2021, the companies said.
Total Retail's Take: This is the latest example of a retail brand partnership — which are designed to provide benefits to both organizations — a growing trend in the industry, particularly for established brick-and-mortar retailers such as Target. For example, Kohl's partnership with Amazon.com, in which the department store chain has dedicated sections in its stores to accept product returns for the online retail giant, has yielded increased store traffic and sales for Kohl's, while giving Amazon an extended physical network for its customers to make returns. The circumstances are similar in the Target-Disney relationship. Target expands its Disney merchandise assortment (currently one of its top brand partners) and creates an immersive in-store experience for shoppers to visit, while Disney gains an extended physical footprint beyond shopping malls, where most of its company-owned stores are currently located. Furthermore, there's a natural synergy between the two brands. According to Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products, there’s about a 90 percent overlap between the two company’s customers. Expect this partnership to be a success, and for other retailers to follow suit.