March 28, 1987 – The First Disney Store Opens
“Disney Store is your destination for the latest selection of exclusive and authentic Disney merchandise.”
On March 28, 1987, the first Disney Store opened in California’s Glendale Galleria. Disney had never sold products in an official store before this, save for the Disney Parks. The idea of the store came from CEO Michael Eisner and President Frank Wells, as they felt that they were missing an opportunity of selling merchandise to consumers that wouldn’t necessarily make it to the parks. The concept was not only a successfully one, but it was soon copied by other studios, including Warner Brothers. The 50th store was opened just a little over two years later, with the first overseas store opening in London in November of 1990. As the number of stores grew, so did the amount of specialty merchandise available. The number of stores reached a peak in 1999, with almost 750 stores worldwide, with the less profitable stores were closed soon after. The stores in Japan were sold to the Oriental Land Company in 2001, the same company that owns Tokyo Disneyland, but were repurchased by Disney in 2010. Currently, there are at least 200 stores in the United States alone, with 479 locations worldwide; the Disney Store also sells items online, shipping all over the United States. The store sells items from all things Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.