SBD/17/Events Attractions

ESPN STORE MOVES INTO CROWDED "RETAIL-TAINMENT" ARENA

          CNBC's Jerry Cobb reported live yesterday from the
     grand opening of the first ESPN - The Store in Glendale, CA.
     Cobb: "Disney calls it a possible prototype, but judging
     from the fanfare of Tuesday's opening, there's nothing
     tentative about ESPN - The Store."  Disney Stores President
     Tom Heymann: "We're looking to get everybody of all ages;
     sports fans from the youngest to the oldest, both men and
     women, and we have products that really appeal to everybody"
     ("Business Tonight," 9/16).  In L.A., George White wrote
     that the store is the "latest player in an increasingly
     crowded 'retail-tainment' arena," that includes other chain
     stores from Disney, Warner Bros., Viacom and the Discovery
     Channel.  Disney CEO Michael Eisner: "[T]he entertainment
     store is a risky concept.  This (venture) is not a shoo-in." 
     White wrote that "the continuing spread" of such stores
     "could lead to problems," such as price-cutting.  White also
     added that "the novelty may wear off."  ESPN's store will
     offer company logoed merchandised, clothing/collectibles,
     and sporting equipment, such as mountain bikes and
     skateboards with the X-Games brand name (L.A. TIMES, 9/16).

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