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Luv2Roam
03-27-2003, 07:18 AM
Disney shutters two Orlando retail outlets
Jill Krueger Staff Writer

Walt Disney Co. has shuttered two of its Disney Stores in metro Orlando.

The closures are not a surprise: Disney announced that it planned to close the two Orlando retail operations in fall of last year, part of a national plan to close 150 underperforming stores as their leases expire.

In metro Orlando, Disney Store Inc. closed a 3,497-square-foot store at Altamonte Mall on March 10. The 3,750-square-foot location at Orlando Fashion Square turned off the lights Feb. 22.

The two are among the oldest Disney retail stores. Disney opened at Orlando Fashion Square roughly 10 years ago. The Altamonte location is 8 years old.

Each store employed about 12 workers.

Disney spokeswoman Maria Gladowski says the company is placing some employees in other positions. "Fortunately, for our consumers in Orlando, we have other locations in the marketplace," Gladowski notes.

The closings leave Disney Store Inc. with three mall stores in the region: Florida Mall, West Oaks Mall and Seminole Towne Center.

In the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2002, Disney closed 90 stores worldwide and only opened one new store each in Europe, Japan and the Asia/Pacific region.

The company also sold 46 of its stores to Oriental Land Co., which owns and operates the Tokyo Disney Resort, under a license agreement.

Currently, Disney Store Inc. has 408 U.S. locations, Gladowski says. However, once the underperforming stores are closed, the merchandise chain will have 300 stores in North America, the majority of which are in malls.

Will Disney shutter any other stores in Central Florida? "Not in the foreseeable future," says Gladowski.


Eye on Arizona. Iacon Inc. out of Scottsdale, Ariz., has acquired Celebrity Eyeworks Studio Inc.

The sunglass specialty retailer opened in 1997 at Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Within the next year, Iacon President Jeff Obstfeld says his company intends to re-brand the Disney location under its new Sunglass Icon, "showcasing the eye wear worn by celebrities and athletes."


2003 American City Business Journals Inc.