Disney may sell ailing chain of retail stores
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Co., already facing economic challenges at its theme parks and ABC television network, said it may sell its chain of retail stores in North America and Europe.
“We are very optimistic we can actually find a buyer” if the company decides to sell the Disney Store chain, Disney Consumer Products Chairman Andy Mooney said Thursday.
The company has been closing its least profitable stores over the last few years. The number of North American stores has dropped from 522 to 387 and further closings are expected, Disney said.
In preparation for a potential sale, Peter Whitford, who was hired to run the store chain in 2001, has resigned and other executives will lose their jobs over the next few weeks as Disney looks to control costs, the company said. Mooney will run the stores on an interim basis.