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).