The Walt Disney Co. is giving its chain of Disney Stores an extreme makeover, with the concept being led by Apple executive and Disney board member Steve Jobs, according to The New York Times.

The remake of the company’s 340 stores in the United States and Europe will shift the store from a typical retail store to where customers have more of an “experience.”

Southern California will be one of the first areas to see the new Disney Store concept. Disney is looking to have a flagship store in Times Square in New York, and is close to finalizing a lease agreement for the store, the Times report said.

The stores, which might even experience a name change to Imagination Park, according to the report, will have many interactive elements, such as theaters for children to watch Disney programming.

Jobs has taken cues from the development of Apple’s highly successful Apple Store franchise in the refurbishment. The report says that at Jobs’ insistence, Disney build a prototype to work out problems. The report says that Disney will spend about $1 million per store in the process.

Source:The Business Journal