World's Largest Disney Store Set For Shanghai

8:00 AM PST 10/25/2013 by Clifford Coonan
Disney/Pixar

The space is set to open in the Chinese city's financial district in early 2015, before the Disney resort that is due to open at the end of that year.

The Walt Disney Co is planning to open its first China store in Shanghai in early 2015, expected to be its largest ever, as the group responds to the demands of China's growing ranks of middle-class consumers.

"We are enormously proud to be building Disney's largest store in the world in China," Stanley Cheung, executive vp and managing director of The Walt Disney Company's Greater China unit, said in a statement.

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"Disney has combined the retail concept with storytelling, fun and innovation and will provide families with a uniquely immersive entertainment destination featuring our best-loved stories and characters," he said.

He said the flagship Disney Store will feature the largest and most diverse collection of Disney products by local and international designers.

The store will cover a massive 53,000 square feet (5,000 square meters) in the Lujiazui site in Shanghai's financial hub. The store will feature a state-of-the art Disney Store retail space covering 10,800 square feet and a Disney-themed outdoor plaza area.

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Disney is scheduled to open its first Disney resort in mainland China at the end of 2015. It already operates a theme park in Hong Kong.
The Disney Store announcement comes at the end of a busy week of U.S-China real estate announcements.

On Thursday, Robert De Niro said he was investing in a Shanghai property complex, while on the same day, Walmart, the world's largest retailer, said it plans to open up to 110 facilities in China between 2014 and 2016, in addition to the 30 it has already opened this year.

The Disney Store made its debut in 1987 and now spans 340 locations around the world.

"The addition of the store, the innovative design, and product and entertainment offerings will provide the Lujiazui area with a family-friendly destination focus point and will contribute to Shanghai's reputation and leadership as a family, business, cultural, entertainment and tourism destination," said Yang Xiaoming, general manager of the Shanghai Lujiazui (Group) Company, which is an investor in Disney's joint venture partner, the Shanghai Shendi group.

In the interior of the store, families and kids will be able to interact with their favorite characters and stories from across Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars, the group said.

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