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Walt Disney Co. isn’t letting the economy scare it out of an ambitious plan to revamp an expand its 340 stores, according to The New York Times. The Disney chain will rebrand its stores Imagination Park, making them more of an “experience” than just a shopping trip.”The world does not need another place to sell Disney merchandise – this only works if it’s an experience,” Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide, told the Times. The chain is also looking to expand into high-profile locations and has signed a lease in Times Square. The new stores will have movie theaters and other interactive components, and Apple is consulting with Disney on the effort, which should give you an idea of where this is going.But will the stores have good sales? We would imagine that for the cost of the remodels they would have to sell an awful lot of product in an environment when everyone is cutting back.And Disney has had retail problems before, selling the chain to The Children’s Place a few years ago and then buying it back after about 100 stores were closed.Like Apple, though, Disney can probably better afford to experiment than others. Even after a decrease in revenue, sales in its most recent quarter were nearly $8.6 billion.. And there is less competition in the toy sector right now.

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