The Walt Disney Co has acquired the Disney Store chain in North America from subsidiaries of The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc.

Under the transaction announced yesterday (1 May), Disney said it has acquired around 220 Disney Stores in the US and Canada.

It has also obtained the right to wind-down and close approximately 98 Disney Stores in the US and two Disney Stores in Canada. 

Disney veteran James D Fielding has been named as president of Disney Stores Worldwide.
He will oversee merchandising and all other operations of the Disney Stores in North America and the 107 existing Disney Stores in Europe, as well as manage the relationship with Oriental Land Co, which operates the Disney Stores in Japan under a license arrangement.

Disney bought back its store operation from Hoop Holdings, a subsidiary The Children's Place, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.

The Children's Place Retail Stores said it will incur cash exit costs of around $50m, and can "once again focus exclusively on building our core namesake brand" which consists of 906 stores.

Its exit from the Disney Stores North America business is one of a raft of measures designed to return the company to profit.

It has also announced the axing of 130 jobs, a halving of 2008 spending plans and a tightening up of inventory management, after reporting a US$58.5m loss in the fourth quarter.