Disney launched a new section of their online store (DisneyStore.com) today featuring merchandise from Disney theme parks.
Each section is currently fairly limited in selection, with only a handful of items to choose from. With hundreds of stores scattered throughout Disney’s theme parks containing thousands of different items, I suspect this is only the beginning of what will become available for purchase online.
But I can’t help wonder how (or if) this will effect sales in the parks. If visitors starting buying their personalized Mickey ears and autograph books at home before coming to the parks, will in-park sales of these previously-exclusive items fall? In the first quarter 2009 Walt Disney Co. earnings conference call, Disney CFO Thomas O. Staggs reported that park ticket prices rose due to a decline in merchandise sales. If the online availability of park merchandise does hurt sales of the same items inside the parks, perhaps we will see even higher ticket prices in the future.
You can browse Disney’s new online offering of park merchandise at DisneyStore.com.