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crazy4wdw
03-16-2007, 11:35 AM
Disney, Children's Place Still In Licensing Talks

March 15, 2007: 08:16 AM EST

BY DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. said Thursday it is still in talks with Walt Disney Co. regarding potential modifications to certain terms of the company's long-term license agreement to operate the Disney Store retail chain in North America, some of which may be material.

The talks began after Disney notified Children's Place that it failed to comply with certain of its obligations under the license agreement, including obligations with respect to renovation of stores and store maintenance.

Disney has charged that these failures constitute material breaches of the license agreement.

The company and Disney have exchanged proposals regarding the resolution of these issues.

Children's Place said if it is unable to reach agreement with Disney on the modifications, Disney may exercise its rights and remedies under the agreement.

-Angela Moore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

disneytraceyl
03-16-2007, 08:51 PM
The new stores and disneyshopping.com have very poor customer service. I hate even to buy from them, because I never can rely on getting my item. Of course, noone ever wants to help you. Bad image for Disney :mad: :sad2:

exDS vet
03-17-2007, 01:37 AM
The new stores and disneyshopping.com have very poor customer service. I hate even to buy from them, because I never can rely on getting my item. Of course, noone ever wants to help you. Bad image for Disney :mad: :sad2:

It was Disney who started the bad image you are referring to. Their "Project GO" initiative in 2000 marked the end of Guest service as we knew it. Under that initiative, CM's were no longer allowed to chat with guests or "storytell". There weren't to talk about the parks when selling passes. All they were expected to do was upsell DVD's and watch guests. Many CM's ignored this program and quit or were fired.

Bob Bell and Peter Whitford were behind Project GO and other DS initiatives that failed. They threatened district managers and store managers (like myself) with their jobs if they resisted the new changes that were supposed to be good for the company.

The Disney Store was notorious for failed internal initiatives. Some of their plans were among the stupidest I had ever seen. I was with DS when the company began failing. When I became a store manager there were over 730 stores. When I left there were around 350. This was just under 3 years.

Disney Consumer Products always felt they knew best. They took adult clothing, home items and collectibles out of the stores and moved them to the catalog. Then they shut down the catalog. They wanted DS to be all about Pooh and Princesses. Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Minnie" all were in the past. (except for plush).

Disney couldn't create a boys line of products to save their lives unless it had Buzz Lightyear on it. And even then, they never produced enough product until it was too late. Everything else failed. Perhaps because the films aimed at boys were also losers.

Does Disney think they can save the stores that THEY ruined by taking them over again? I think not. Disney Consumer Products took 18 months to create each product line for The Disney Store. A year and a half is a long time to design and manufacture shirts, toys, snowglobes (just for you YOHO), et.al. If Disney goes through and ends it's relationship with TCP, I would expect them to find another licensee or sell or close the chain alltogether.

Also. I have already read elsewhere that people think Disney wants the stores back so they have a place to build on POTC merchandise. My feeling is that this franchise peaked with last year's movie. If that was their intention, it would be one of the worst decisions ever made. Unless they put Jack Sparrow in "It's A Small World".

mamaprincess
03-17-2007, 09:55 AM
POTC has far from peaked IMHO. POTC is the hottest franchise Disney has going for them aside from Disney Princess as a whole. I agree that Disneyshopping.com is in bad need of a customer service overhall but I have never visited a Disney Store and had a bad experience. I talked to 2 very nice employees of the Disney Store in my area this week and they both discussed at length their dipleasure with no longer being under the Disney umbrella.

I just wish that things that bare the Disney name were actually owned and operated (in a manner that shows they care) by Disney. Wishful thinking I guess.

Tess'smom
03-17-2007, 10:06 AM
IMO the Disney stores went completely downhill since TCP were licensed to operate the stores. They do not feel anything like "Disney". I would rather see Disney operated the stores once again with a broader line for all ages like they used to.

DisneyAmber
03-17-2007, 11:04 AM
Now that Jobs is on the board and a majority shareholder, perhaps he can bring back some fresh ideas and get Disney Stores back on track to get them re-focused on the Customer-centric experience. Disney could learn a lot from the Apple stores concept, which were reported last week as being more successful that Wal-Mart and (I believe) The Gap combined.
:hippie:

exDS vet
03-17-2007, 07:30 PM
POTC has far from peaked IMHO. POTC is the hottest franchise Disney has going for them aside from Disney Princess as a whole. I agree that Disneyshopping.com is in bad need of a customer service overhall but I have never visited a Disney Store and had a bad experience. I talked to 2 very nice employees of the Disney Store in my area this week and they both discussed at length their dipleasure with no longer being under the Disney umbrella.

I just wish that things that bare the Disney name were actually owned and operated (in a manner that shows they care) by Disney. Wishful thinking I guess.

We'll have to wait until the movie comes out for either point to be proven on whether or not POTC has peaked. But if Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are any indications, POTC has peaked. And from a merchandising standpoint, I don't see POTC stuff as being nearly as popular as Princess, Pooh or other Disney lines. Besides. Disney Consumer Products was the company's worst performing business unit last year. That says a great deal about Disney's approach to retail. They would probably be best just to let TCP keep running the stores in not risk causing more damage.

Even if the brand has become tarnished over the years, Disney is still a name.

dhluvsDisney
03-18-2007, 12:33 AM
Don't even get me started on the whole TCP and Disney Store thing. My DD was a CM (seasonal) at our DS recently and due to the Store Policy, only Management was allowed to answer questions on the Park and Passes, etc. My DD knows more about WDW than the management team and had to bite her tongue when the management team was giving out incorrect info.

It has certainly lost and gained some with TCP, but quite frankly, I haven't figured out which is the lesser of two evils.

We just want the "magic" back.

exDS vet
03-18-2007, 03:37 AM
Don't even get me started on the whole TCP and Disney Store thing. My DD was a CM (seasonal) at our DS recently and due to the Store Policy, only Management was allowed to answer questions on the Park and Passes, etc. My DD knows more about WDW than the management team and had to bite her tongue when the management team was giving out incorrect info.

It has certainly lost and gained some with TCP, but quite frankly, I haven't figured out which is the lesser of two evils.

We just want the "magic" back.

One of the longtime problems with Disney Store CM's selling park passes was that they spent too much time talking about the parks with guests. Management wanted CM's to get in and get out when selling passes. They wanted Guests to call the parks with their questions. After all, Cast Members were not park experts. Even though some of them thought they were.

I had several CM's who had the behavior I just mentioned. It was more effecient and productive for me to sell passes than my CM's. The biggest problem that Disney had (not sure about TCP) was that their CM's were trained to provide the "Disney Magic" to Guests. To a CM, this meant acting like the CM's they interacted with at the parks. This created an environment where Disney Store CM's failed to understand that they were working in retail.

Passports, Disney Dollars and DVD's made no money for the stores. The money was in softlines, accessories and plush. Management wanted CM's on the floor to sell all of the add-ons that they could, and then for the cashier to sell the DVD's, passes, etc. I understand the store policy where your DD is concerned. It's not her fault, but rather that of the original Disney Store for not training CM's correctly from the beginning.

DisneyZell
03-20-2007, 12:19 PM
do you wonder if Disney is doing this because they realize it was a mistake...and maybe Jobs is even behind it...having the stores out there could grow the Disney name...but right now has been negative. I wonder if they realize it...and this is why they have brought it to TCP's attention.

raidermatt
03-20-2007, 12:33 PM
Where are all the people who said turning things over to TCP was a good idea?

The stores are actually doing well for TCP based on the figures they released a few months ago. Maybe Disney just wants to renegotiate a better deal? Or maybe they do want to take another shot at it? Who knows?

I'd be surprised if Jobs cares enough about it to be pushing anything, but again, who knows? There's not even any real rumors floating around on this.

As for PotC peaking, that's somewhat debateable. It's actually been unofficially reported that the Pirates merchandise hasn't sold up to expectations. That's not to say it didn't sell at all, just not anywhere near what the company was hoping. Supposedly they are going to shift some of their focus from "toys" to collectables.

But regardless, with the final movie in the trilogy coming out in 2 months, and plans for any further movies still in the planning stages, its safe to say that if it hasn't reached its peak yet, its going to within the next month or three. Certainly it wouldn't make sense to try to take back stores to sell Pirate merchandise when they wouldn't be able to make it happen that quickly.

But, I guess its possible they could want control back in general. We'll see where this leads I guess.

DancingBear
03-20-2007, 01:50 PM
The new stores and disneyshopping.com have very poor customer service. I hate even to buy from them, because I never can rely on getting my item. Of course, noone ever wants to help you. Bad image for Disney :mad: :sad2:Disneyshopping.com is still owned by Disney.

DancingBear
03-20-2007, 02:15 PM
Passports, Disney Dollars and DVD's made no money for the stores.So upper level management didn't value and reward the contribution of this element of the stores to the Company as a whole--although part of the concept of the stores was to extend the park experience (something they're talking about again now). It's a similar problem to disaggregating the performance measures at WDW so that an individual resort is not incentivized to provide services that may benefit WDW as a whole but which do not add to that resort's bottom line.

Brian_WDW74
03-20-2007, 02:16 PM
Disneyshopping.com is still owned by Disney.

Yes, but sometimes they just don't act like it. For example, I bought a coffee mug at WDW's WoD and had it shipped back to my resort (CS). On the day I was packing to leave, I noticed that the handle had been broken off. Since I didn't have time to go back to DTD, I took it down to Panchito's Gifts. They didn't have the exact mug in stock, so the CM told me to choose any mug I wanted -- even if it was more expensive than the one I bought. She then wrapped it with extra wrapping paper to make sure it wouldn't break in my luggage.

Contrast this to Disneyshopping.com. I ordered a Jumbo Proof pin, and when I received it, I noticed the post had broken off. I contacted them to see if I could exchange it, and was told that since it was a Proof pin, under no circumstances would they accept a return. This certainly is not the service I expect from Disney.

To bring it back to the topic of this thread: I haven't had any problems with TCP's management of TDS, but if Disney took control back, and ran the stores more like miniature WoD stores, that would make me very happy.

*Brian*

Giggle
03-20-2007, 05:07 PM
Yes, but if Disney gets control of the stores and runs them like they run disneyshopping.com, it will be a bad situation. I placed a large order Thanksgiving Day this year and still did not have it 2 and a half weeks later. When the order finally arrived I had a set of cocktail plates instead of a lunchbox I had ordered. I had to beg them to send me a shipping label to return the cocktail plates.

Violet Crayon
03-21-2007, 12:17 AM
The talks began after Disney notified Children's Place that it failed to comply with certain of its obligations under the license agreement, including obligations with respect to renovation of stores and store maintenance.

Ripped carpeting, crumbling walls, missing panels on the wall, broken projector, are all problems visible at one of the stores here. The renovation has been put off several times. This news is good to hear, unless it means the demise of Disney Stores.

exDS vet
03-21-2007, 01:41 AM
[I]
Ripped carpeting, crumbling walls, missing panels on the wall, broken projector, are all problems visible at one of the stores here. The renovation has been put off several times. This news is good to hear, unless it means the demise of Disney Stores.

This sounds like my old Disney Store, which was before TCP came along. I had all of these problems and more. And my store was 14 years old with no updates, remodels, etc. Of course my store was closed, but the entire 3 years I was there, nobody at "upper Disney" lifted a finger to make improvements. My store was high profile, and it was a classic example of "bad show".

This story is really a non-story. I don't see Disney taking the stores back because the only thing they know about running them is running them into the ground. If Disney is making money from the licensing agreement (which you know they are), it makes no sense for them to take the stores back unless they want to close the entire chain.

ASilmser
03-23-2007, 04:49 PM
As an ex-DS employee (through the high point and the low point) my theory of why TDS did not work out is that they put themselves into a position of competing with themselves.

First: They got rid of the adult merchandise--the collectables, the unique clothing, the artwork, the Disney Collectors club items. I contend that those items never were big sellers, but they made the stores worth coming into. In other words, a family in the mall would come into the Disney Store because it was an event, or a place to get a Disney fix. They would look at all the cool expensive stuff, and then they would buy something else--like a t-shirt or a CD or a plush.

Back at the coorporate office, people looked at the sales figures and decided that it was not worth keeping those higher priced items around any more, even though they added an allure to the store that brought people in. Those items may not have been selling at a fast rate, but they brought families people into the store and kept them there for longer.

At the same time, Disney consumer products was licensing inexpensive Disney products to places like Wal-mart, K-mart, Target, and Kohls. These places used their high volumes to sell t-shirts, sweatshirts, kids clothes, and the latest movie merchandise to people at a much more affordable price point than TDS could afford (it was still lower quality, but people were willing to overlook that)

So: Less people in the store because they are now not much different than the discount store (except for the movie screen that does not always work), people are now used to getting Disney merchandise for a lot less, and they have the impression that TDS sells the same stuff for much more money.The Stores now have to cut hours so that any customer service that might have brought people back to the Disney Stores is now gone--or spotty at best.

TDS then had to compete with the large discount stores in a mall setting. Not really a winnable situation.

In their defense, the retail market is hard to predict, and you need to respond when to changes. But I think when they started making the place less unique and ignored the impact that a broad range of merchandise can have as a way to bring people into the store they started on their slow demise. It used to be a place to stop as a "destination", and near the end, it just became a place to "buy stuff."

raidermatt
03-23-2007, 05:58 PM
First: They got rid of the adult merchandise--the collectables, the unique clothing, the artwork, the Disney Collectors club items. I contend that those items never were big sellers, but they made the stores worth coming into. In other words, a family in the mall would come into the Disney Store because it was an event, or a place to get a Disney fix. They would look at all the cool expensive stuff, and then they would buy something else--like a t-shirt or a CD or a plush.
You nailed it with my family at least.

At the same time, Disney consumer products was licensing inexpensive Disney products to places like Wal-mart, K-mart, Target, and Kohls. These places used their high volumes to sell t-shirts, sweatshirts, kids clothes, and the latest movie merchandise to people at a much more affordable price point than TDS could afford (it was still lower quality, but people were willing to overlook that)
I agree completely with this. Tangent- I was in a WalMart the other day and saw a rack of kid's clothes with a "Disney Babies" sign over it (I think that's what it was called). There were pictures of Mickey, Minnie and a couple of other characters, but more baby-like in appearance. Sort of like the Muppet Babies I guess. So I walked over just to see what the clothes looked like, and it was all Hello Kitty merchandise.

True, not Disney's fault persay, but it shows the QC issues you will have when you go that route.


This news is good to hear, unless it means the demise of Disney Stores.
They aren't owned or operated by Disney anymore. To me, the demise train left the station long ago.

fairygodmother29577
04-03-2007, 01:06 AM
Don't even get me started on the whole TCP and Disney Store thing. My DD was a CM (seasonal) at our DS recently and due to the Store Policy, only Management was allowed to answer questions on the Park and Passes, etc. My DD knows more about WDW than the management team and had to bite her tongue when the management team was giving out incorrect info.

It has certainly lost and gained some with TCP, but quite frankly, I haven't figured out which is the lesser of two evils.

We just want the "magic" back.
That must a "store Policy" and not a company policy. My CM's are trained and encouraged to talk to the guests about their experiences and are knowledgable about passes.

raidermatt
04-03-2007, 02:07 AM
That must a "store Policy" and not a company policy. My CM's are trained and encouraged to talk to the guests about their experiences and are knowledgable about passes.

Are, or were?

We4mickey
04-03-2007, 07:10 PM
Anyone in our store can talk to guests about tickets. There is no company policy saying that they can't.

Lewisc
04-04-2007, 12:26 PM
Disney kept the store on 5th Avenue (NYC). It's operated as a World of Disney store under the theme park division. I can't see Disney taking the chain back but if the NYC store is a sucess Disney could use this dispute as grounds to get WoD stores in other locations such as Las Vegas.




This story is really a non-story. I don't see Disney taking the stores back because the only thing they know about running them is running them into the ground. If Disney is making money from the licensing agreement (which you know they are), it makes no sense for them to take the stores back unless they want to close the entire chain.

The PixNey Co
04-04-2007, 02:24 PM
Disney kept the store on 5th Avenue (NYC). It's operated a World of Disney store under the theme park division. I can't see Disney taking the chain back but if the NYC store is a sucess Disney could use this dispute as grounds to get WoD stores in other locations such as Las Vegas.
Disney stores were run by Disney Consumer Products, WoD Stores are run by the theme park division. Disney converted the 5th Ave store from a Disney Store to a WoD. In doing so, they turned it over to DCP. I agree that a WoD store in cities like Vegas, SF, Chicago, would work. But Disney would have to build new ones or do additional conversions. Perhaps Post St. in SF could be converted, but it's not as big as a WoD store. Vegas would need an entirely new store, as would a city like Chicago.

mking624
04-04-2007, 04:02 PM
The new stores and disneyshopping.com have very poor customer service. I hate even to buy from them, because I never can rely on getting my item. Of course, noone ever wants to help you. Bad image for Disney :mad: :sad2:
I'm sorry you've experienced poor customer service at some stores. Rest assured that this is not the case at all the stores. If you are experiencing problems with a particular store, request the phone number of the district manager and call in a complaint.

Don't even get me started on the whole TCP and Disney Store thing. My DD was a CM (seasonal) at our DS recently and due to the Store Policy, only Management was allowed to answer questions on the Park and Passes, etc. My DD knows more about WDW than the management team and had to bite her tongue when the management team was giving out incorrect info.
This is NOT company policy and what that store is doing is wrong. ALL cast members are to be trained selling park passes. Each store was given a binder filled with park info so that ALL CMs could read through it so they'd also be able to answer questions on the parks in general as well. Store policy cannot differ from company policy...they are one and the same. So if your DD was experiencing something different than what the company as a whole allowed, I most definitely would have had her speak up.

Passports, Disney Dollars and DVD's made no money for the stores.
The stores do make a small amount of money on DVDs (much like any other company selling a DVD). It's not enough to make a HUGE dent, but then again the stores don't really depend on DVDs for their profit, which is why the stores never carry a huge selection as does Best Buy, for example. Same with CDs. Disney Dollars make no money until they are actually spent, because they are are basically just an exchange of money when they are initially purchased...much like a gift card at any other store. Passports don't give us revenue, they DO, however give the stores payroll hours, which is pretty valuable to us, particularly during busy times.

Ripped carpeting, crumbling walls, missing panels on the wall, broken projector, are all problems visible at one of the stores here. The renovation has been put off several times. This news is good to hear, unless it means the demise of Disney Stores.
Trust me, these were problems before TCP took over. However, TCP was supposed to get on the ball with renovations/remodels and they only did a very small percentage of what they said they were going to do by now.

Are, or were?
The policy is that all CMs are to be trained. This was not a policy of the past. Every CM is to be knowledgable in this area. If they are not, it's either the fault of the CM for not paying attention in training (which we've had former CMs like this, fortunately they are former) or it's the fault of the SM for not training the CMs.

dhluvsDisney
04-04-2007, 07:10 PM
We also found here that at Christmas time, many people were purchasing "mall gift certificates" which up until 2006 were paper, but are now in the regular gift card format. If you wanted to use it at TDS, you were completely out of luck. Because TCP did not upgrade systems, they were unable (and still I believe) to handle the mall gift cards. People were very angry, and they definately lost out on sales because of this. It's sad when they are using such an archaic system that it dates WAY back! TCP really needs to step up to the plate.

DisneyFan09
04-04-2007, 07:33 PM
We also found here that at Christmas time, many people were purchasing "mall gift certificates" which up until 2006 were paper, but are now in the regular gift card format. If you wanted to use it at TDS, you were completely out of luck. Because TCP did not upgrade systems, they were unable (and still I believe) to handle the mall gift cards. People were very angry, and they definately lost out on sales because of this. It's sad when they are using such an archaic system that it dates WAY back! TCP really needs to step up to the plate.

This has nothing to do with TCP - the mall gift cert. are usually in the form of a visa/mc and if there is not enough on the card to cover the entire transaction the card will be declined unless the exact amount is entered. Maybe the person checking you out didn't know how to process the card.

fairygodmother29577
04-04-2007, 08:33 PM
That is so true about the gift cards and KNOWING the exact amount on the card. Also if the store was having a problem accepting them then they should have contacted the mall office.

mking624
04-04-2007, 09:50 PM
We also found here that at Christmas time, many people were purchasing "mall gift certificates" which up until 2006 were paper, but are now in the regular gift card format. If you wanted to use it at TDS, you were completely out of luck. Because TCP did not upgrade systems, they were unable (and still I believe) to handle the mall gift cards. People were very angry, and they definately lost out on sales because of this. It's sad when they are using such an archaic system that it dates WAY back! TCP really needs to step up to the plate.

This is not a TCP/TDS issue. There are a couple of things that need to be asked. Is this a general mall gift card (as in NOT sponsored by a credit card company)? Or is it a mall gift card that is done by a credit card company (i.e. Discover or Amex)? If it's a general one, be aware that not every store accepts general mall cards. If it's a credit card gift card for the mall, then the only issue would be if the balance on the card was less than the total amount of the transaction. If your gift card balance is more than the total amount, we simply swipe the card through as a credit card. If it's less than the amount, we need to know the exact amount on the card otherwise it declines the card since there is not enough to cover the transaction. Think of it as you credit limit...if you're going over your credit limit, many times a credit card will decline. Same with these gift cards...so we need to know the exact amount. This is how it is at EVERY store that uses a credit card gift card regardless if it's a mall card, a Best Buy Rewards card, a Cingular Wireless Rewards card, etc. We need to know that exact balance so we can enter it in properly. Without that information, we either have to call to find out your balance, or you need to find a new form of payment.

It has nothing to do with upgrading the systems...they system works fine because it accepts it as a credit card. The system is not archaic...clearly the employees were not trained. It's an incredibly easy process. And this process is exactly the same at every other store that accepts these cards.

Perhaps finding out the facts on how these cards work would be in order before accusing the entire company of being so out of date. ;)

Big Dipper
04-04-2007, 11:21 PM
This is NOT company policy and what that store is doing is wrong. ALL cast members are to be trained selling park passes. Each store was given a binder filled with park info so that ALL CMs could read through it so they'd also be able to answer questions on the parks in general as well. Store policy cannot differ from company policy...they are one and the same. So if your DD was experiencing something different than what the company as a whole allowed, I most definitely would have had her speak up.


The stores do make a small amount of money on DVDs (much like any other company selling a DVD). It's not enough to make a HUGE dent, but then again the stores don't really depend on DVDs for their profit, which is why the stores never carry a huge selection as does Best Buy, for example. Same with CDs. Disney Dollars make no money until they are actually spent, because they are are basically just an exchange of money when they are initially purchased...much like a gift card at any other store. Passports don't give us revenue, they DO, however give the stores payroll hours, which is pretty valuable to us, particularly during busy times.



Providing a binder as a reference tool and providing actual training on selling theme park passes are two different things. TDS does not invest in the proper training for passes because they don't make much money on them. The amount of labor they receive is not really known. Some stores sell far less passes than others. I have never bought the labor piece of this. They can't train their employees on selling passes because some people have more questions than most employees can answer. Then again, there are many employees (formerly known as CM's) who are self-appointed "experts" on the parks and tend to waste too much time BSing about the parks when they are supposed to be doing a quick sale.

It's been a while since I worked in this type of retail, but don't stores make their money on the sale of the gift cards as opposed to redemption? Or is it more of a per company decision?

mking624
04-04-2007, 11:33 PM
Providing a binder as a reference tool and providing actual training on selling theme park passes are two different things. TDS does not invest in the proper training for passes because they don't make much money on them. The amount of labor they receive is not really known. Some stores sell far less passes than others. I have never bought the labor piece of this. They can't train their employees on selling passes because some people have more questions than most employees can answer. Then again, there are many employees (formerly known as CM's) who are self-appointed "experts" on the parks and tend to waste too much time BSing about the parks when they are supposed to be doing a quick sale.
I'm just saying what the company provided to us. I didn't say the binder itself was the training manual. :rolleyes: But yes, the stores DO provide training on selling park passes. What stores sell in passporrts in comparison to others has nothing to do with the labor hours. Stores have their individual goals based on prior passport sales at that store alone...not compared to what some other store sold in passports. If they hit that goal for the week, the store is allotted a certain amount of extra payroll hours. This comes in very handy if we are not making our budget for the week...so those extra hours both saves us frrom having to cut shifts for the week and allows us to give extra shifts to people (especially during this time of year when we're not given many payroll hours as it is). This week, for example, we made our goal and then some for passport sales...and we were given extra payroll hours as a result. VERY nice since our spring sale just started today and we've had a ton of people in the store. Whether or not you buy it doesn't really matter because you're opinion on it doesn't change the fact of it. For the record, our job is not to do a "quick sale." Our job is to provide customer service, and sometimes that customer service means answering questions about the park. When I speak to my guests about the park, I am not BSing. Speak for yourself only, please. Yes there are guests who have more questions than CMs can answer...the same is true for when you're dealing with a CM on Disney property as well. Guess what? Not everyone has all the answers in the world! Amazing revelation, huh? ;) That doesn't mean we're not trained to sell passports. We are. And I do know what I'm talking about when I sell them. Now are some TDS CMs not knowledgable? Sure! But then again, there are CMs at CRO and WDW who are not knowledgable as well. And FYI, we are not "formerly" known as CMs....our actual job title is Cast Member.
You clearly have no clue what you're talking about. You may want to gain a little knowledge on this before speaking in ignorance.

It's been a while since I worked in this type of retail, but don't stores make their money on the sale of the gift cards as opposed to redemption? Or is it more of a per company decision?
Typically you see the revenue once the card has been redeemed. The reason being that the sale of the gift card is merely an even exchange of money...you pay me $20, I give you $20 in the form of a card. Not really a "sale" since product was never purchased...the money is still out there, just in gift card form.

Big Dipper
04-05-2007, 01:48 AM
I'm just saying what the company provided to us. I didn't say the binder itself was the training manual. :rolleyes: But yes, the stores DO provide training on selling park passes. What stores sell in passporrts in comparison to others has nothing to do with the labor hours. Stores have their individual goals based on prior passport sales at that store alone...not compared to what some other store sold in passports. If they hit that goal for the week, the store is allotted a certain amount of extra payroll hours. This comes in very handy if we are not making our budget for the week...so those extra hours both saves us frrom having to cut shifts for the week and allows us to give extra shifts to people (especially during this time of year when we're not given many payroll hours as it is). This week, for example, we made our goal and then some for passport sales...and we were given extra payroll hours as a result. VERY nice since our spring sale just started today and we've had a ton of people in the store. Whether or not you buy it doesn't really matter because you're opinion on it doesn't change the fact of it. For the record, our job is not to do a "quick sale." Our job is to provide customer service, and sometimes that customer service means answering questions about the park. When I speak to my guests about the park, I am not BSing. Speak for yourself only, please. Yes there are guests who have more questions than CMs can answer...the same is true for when you're dealing with a CM on Disney property as well. Guess what? Not everyone has all the answers in the world! Amazing revelation, huh? ;) That doesn't mean we're not trained to sell passports. We are. And I do know what I'm talking about when I sell them. Now are some TDS CMs not knowledgable? Sure! But then again, there are CMs at CRO and WDW who are not knowledgable as well. And FYI, we are not "formerly" known as CMs....our actual job title is Cast Member.
You clearly have no clue what you're talking about. You may want to gain a little knowledge on this before speaking in ignorance.


No need to get personal here and assume I don't know what I am talking about. I had a CM who loved to talk about the parks as if he worked there. This was mostly when he was selling part passes. This is an example of what I meant when I spoke of some CM's BSing. I did not refer to you personally, and I'm sorry if you felt that way. Please don't accuse me of "speaking in ignorance". I am just stating facts as I knew them to be at the Disney Store several years ago. We had a company provided binder that our CM's were to to let the guests use to determine which passes were right for them.

I'm am also sorry if I was incorrect about the job classification of current TDS employees. I did not know that they were still referred to as "Cast Members". If you were offended by that, I apologize. But you aren't "Disney Cast Members" anymore? Right? Or do I still not have a clue?

raidermatt
04-05-2007, 03:17 AM
It's been a while since I worked in this type of retail, but don't stores make their money on the sale of the gift cards as opposed to redemption? Or is it more of a per company decision?

The company profits from "breakage" (unredeemed gift cards), but I don't believe it's usually credited to specific stores.

On average, about 10% goes unused (that's not specific to TDS).

dhluvsDisney
04-05-2007, 10:33 AM
This is not a TCP/TDS issue. There are a couple of things that need to be asked. Is this a general mall gift card (as in NOT sponsored by a credit card company)? Or is it a mall gift card that is done by a credit card company (i.e. Discover or Amex)? If it's a general one, be aware that not every store accepts general mall cards. If it's a credit card gift card for the mall, then the only issue would be if the balance on the card was less than the total amount of the transaction. If your gift card balance is more than the total amount, we simply swipe the card through as a credit card. If it's less than the amount, we need to know the exact amount on the card otherwise it declines the card since there is not enough to cover the transaction. Think of it as you credit limit...if you're going over your credit limit, many times a credit card will decline. Same with these gift cards...so we need to know the exact amount. This is how it is at EVERY store that uses a credit card gift card regardless if it's a mall card, a Best Buy Rewards card, a Cingular Wireless Rewards card, etc. We need to know that exact balance so we can enter it in properly. Without that information, we either have to call to find out your balance, or you need to find a new form of payment.

It has nothing to do with upgrading the systems...they system works fine because it accepts it as a credit card. The system is not archaic...clearly the employees were not trained. It's an incredibly easy process. And this process is exactly the same at every other store that accepts these cards.

Perhaps finding out the facts on how these cards work would be in order before accusing the entire company of being so out of date. ;)

Well, it's highly unusual then, that they are the only place in the mall that cannot accept them at all. The CM's (which I know very well), specified that they cannot accept the mall gift cards at all and it was costing them business. I'll pop on by today and just see if anything has changed. I'm very curious know of the process itself. Bear in mind, though, this is in Canada not the U.S.,so the cards and processes may vary.

Big Dipper
04-05-2007, 12:08 PM
The whole gift card thing is a bit confusing. If the mall sells them and the customers can redeem them at the stores, does that mean that the stores make the money? How does the mall make a profit? Perhaps the mall gets a percentage of the profit. This would make sense. No mall is going to sell a gift card and NOT make anything off of it. Malls pass down all of their costs to the stores. Whenever there is a mall promotion, tv or radio commercial, free gift card givaway, etc. it's the merchants who pay for it through their rent and their common area, marketing and other mall fees.

If Disney Store has the right or the option to "opt out" of a promotion, they may do so and then become part of the "participation may vary" or "at participating retailers" line that usually appears on these cards or the literature that accompanies them.

Disney Store is not going to lose any money or business by not participating in this. And I'm sure it wasn't a decision that they made based on the technical abilities of their cash registers. This is a business decision. When budgets are allocated to stores, the company may or may not decide to spend money on these things on a per store basis. After the budgets have been issued and the year has begun, it's very hard for a single store to go back and get involved in a promotion like this. In the majority of cases, corporate will not participate in a promo for a single specific store. Most malls are owned by different companies. Most customers will assume that any Macy's will accept the gift card that they got from the mall on the other side of town.

Just curious though. Does TCP accept these gift cards?

fairygodmother29577
04-05-2007, 12:46 PM
Maybe this might help, when we opened our new we had difficulty accepting the mall gift cards. We conntacted the mall office and they had to get us set with Discover to accept their mall gift card. There are some gift cards that can be purchased at the mall that you may use any where just like a credit card, these cards need no extra approval. The mall gift card that can only be used in the mall needs to have stores be put on an appoved list through the mall office or the issuing company.

This may the reason why your store is not accepting the card, they should contact the office and let them know.

raidermatt
04-05-2007, 12:56 PM
The mall takes in the money for the gift card, then pays the individual store when the gift card is used there. Similar to the way a credit card works. Most malls probably outsource the gift card processing/funding, so its not like a Mall employee is handling everything. Some are linked into the existing credit/debit networks and therefore need no extra programming on the part of the stores. Just like an AMEX or V/MC gift card.

As for how they might profit, they could get a small percentage of the sale. More likely though, they might charge a fee for the card (like American Express does). Or they could charge a monthly fee once the card has sold (also like AMEX does).

Most importantly though, the mall would benefit from the breakage. If 10% goes unused, they make quite a profit.

Regardless, if the store in the mall can't accept the card, it will most certainly cost that store some business. If you receive a Mall gift card and went to The Disney Store to use it, and they don't accept it, TDS loses the sale.

That's not to say it is or isn't worth it to them to accept it, but it is odd if all of the other stores in the mall accept it. TDS shouldn't be any different than all of the other chains.

profdsny
04-05-2007, 07:33 PM
This is so interesting. MY elw worked at TDS from about 1994 to 03. What a difference. So many dumb decissions from corporate that really it's hard to begin. How about taking the snow globes out of the boxes and packing once they reached the store and selling them that way? So a guest who wanted to buy a $75 snow globe got it in a plastic bag. Want to guess how sales went with that great idea? It seemed like corporate, (what was the term? Home base? Can't remember) had no idea about stores or selling. Pressler and others ran that division into the ground.

fairygodmother29577
04-05-2007, 09:02 PM
Well that might have been then, but today we don't take snow Globes out of the box. At least they learned from their mistakes. I realize a lot of people don't feel like the Disney Stores are a not a part of Disney, but I can tell you when a guest walks into my store we are Disney and it dosen't matter what is behind the sceens. The guest should not know there was any change. No matter if you are in a Disney Park or at a Disney Store we do our best to preserve the "Magic".

Big Dipper
04-06-2007, 02:37 AM
This is so interesting. MY elw worked at TDS from about 1994 to 03. What a difference. So many dumb decissions from corporate that really it's hard to begin. How about taking the snow globes out of the boxes and packing once they reached the store and selling them that way? So a guest who wanted to buy a $75 snow globe got it in a plastic bag. Want to guess how sales went with that great idea? It seemed like corporate, (what was the term? Home base? Can't remember) had no idea about stores or selling. Pressler and others ran that division into the ground.

I agree with you 98%. The only thing that's not correct is your comment about Pressler and others. Paul Pressler made TDS the success that it was in it's glory days. That's why he was promoted to Disneyland in the first place. Of course he was not successful at the parks, but his success at the Disney Store was tramendous. It was the later management who screwed up that division especially those who ran the company from 1999 to 2001.

esuomyeckim
04-26-2007, 05:34 PM
I read somewhere that the real reason for all this mess was that the "new" prototype stores (the one with the big Mickey ears at the entrance) aren't up to snuff and they're falling apart. Supposedly they're working on a new version, but I don't really know.

My question - Why didn't TCP remodel stores according to the original schedule? Seems like they're running way behind to me...

Anyone know if Disney truly wants TCP to run the stores, or are they trying to get them back?

dvc at last !
04-26-2007, 05:49 PM
subscribing --- so I can read later. :cool1:

Tink10
04-27-2007, 12:15 PM
I can tell you with absolute certainty that the new Mickey stores do have issues....Next time you're in one take a look at the detail. The new prototype design is very cool & was shared about a month or so ago with TDS management.

I don't think anyone in the trenches knows why the older stores haven't been remodeled. Many of them need it desperately and the cm's can only guess as to the reasons.

There are some who believe that Disney will take the stores back and are using the design issues as possible grounds to pull licensing. If that happened, the stores would either close or be taken over by another company. In all reality, there has been quite a bit of circumstantial evidence to lead us to believe that this will ultimately happen......Only time will tell. :wizard:

ASilmser
04-30-2007, 12:56 PM
I agree with you 98%. The only thing that's not correct is your comment about Pressler and others. Paul Pressler made TDS the success that it was in it's glory days. That's why he was promoted to Disneyland in the first place. Of course he was not successful at the parks, but his success at the Disney Store was tramendous. It was the later management who screwed up that division especially those who ran the company from 1999 to 2001.


Pressler did wonders for expanding the stores, but that, in essence, was part of the problem. The stores were no longer unique. They were not a destination, but a nice store in the mall.

Granted, the big TDS problems were not a Pressler creation, but his era set in motion the problems that took place after he left.

In hindsight, I think the big Pressler expansion of TDS was the ultimate cause of it's demise. Could Pressler have predicted this? Probably not. I don't despise him for the way he ran the stores, and at the time, I thought he was doing a good job; but I can see how his leadership got things started down the wrong path.

By the way, has anyone heard about how the licensing talks are progressing? Any news about store remodels?
Is there a way to see current prototype plans that have been discussed on this thread?

TheDisneyGirl02
04-30-2007, 10:44 PM
I'm am also sorry if I was incorrect about the job classification of current TDS employees. I did not know that they were still referred to as "Cast Members". If you were offended by that, I apologize. But you aren't "Disney Cast Members" anymore? Right? Or do I still not have a clue?

We still are Cast Members regardless of who owns us. When I walk into my store, I am proud to be called a cast member - regardless if TCP or Disney signs my paycheck. The Disney magic is there and for as long as I work for the stores, I will continue to work for Walt.

disneyjunebug
05-01-2007, 10:59 AM
We still are Cast Members regardless of who owns us. When I walk into my store, I am proud to be called a cast member - regardless if TCP or Disney signs my paycheck. The Disney magic is there and for as long as I work for the stores, I will continue to work for Walt.

I like your attitude! I was the same way!

SallyfromDE
05-01-2007, 01:42 PM
Actually, we had the same problem in our mall. The gift card is by Discover and quite a few stores don't accept Discover. I work at Macy's and it took them over a year to be able to accept the Mall gift card. It does affect sales.

SallyfromDE
05-01-2007, 01:45 PM
I have 2 local DS, and love them both. One just recently did a reno, and the other not long before TCP bought it. The mdse. is much improved!! I enjoy going back now. I just wish they had more adult items.

SallyfromDE
05-01-2007, 01:48 PM
Actually, the government takes the unused money from giftcards. If a card is stagnant for 3 years, it has to be turned over to the government.

All Aboard
05-01-2007, 02:28 PM
For what it's worth... I recently travelled back to the city I moved from six months ago. When we left, one of the three Disney Stores near our house was in the process of moving to another "bay" at the mall. It was only about 3 stores down.

I poked my head in the new store (which aparently opened in the 6 months since I was last there) and it is a mere shell of its former self.

The old store had all of the moving parts and characters above your head throughout the entire store. It had fully themed sales shelves throughout. It was sort of a mini World of Disney.

The new store looks just like the Character Warehouse in another mall in the city. Just wall mounted shelves and racks, virtually no theming. Boring in every way.

raidermatt
05-01-2007, 05:33 PM
Actually, the government takes the unused money from giftcards. If a card is stagnant for 3 years, it has to be turned over to the government.

That's state specific. Many states exempt gift cards from unclaimed property laws. Some states are considering removing that exemption.