Amid Furloughs and Layoffs Disney Has Been Hiring For Disney+ and Disney Stores


Disney CEO Bob Chapek has recently announced a fundamental shift in business and focus for the company.  Moving forward Disney intends to focus more on their Disney+ streaming service and other streaming arms to put an emphasis on “direct-to-consumer” experiences.

According to GlobalData’s analysts it appears that they are indeed moving towards streaming and merchandising with their hires. The plan seems to rely on Disney making content and then merchandising the heck out of it to make up for the huge money loss they suffered in 2020.

GlobalData has been following the hiring trends of the Walt Disney Company in 2020. While 28,000 layoffs have happened (we expect more) Disney is advertising and hiring for two areas of the company: Streaming and Disney Store sales. However it’s important to note that they are trying to go with more temporary, seasonal, contracted or part-time job openings in retail, to avoid more full time employees.

Here’s what two of the GlobalData analysts said about the shift in hiring:

Ajay Thalluri, business fundamentals analyst:

While the company is expected to lay off over 28,000 of its workforce in 2020 and has furloughed 100,000 with the lockdown of its parks, Disney’s focus for the remainder of 2020 will be on DTC and its retail businesses.

Thalluri points out that Disney is trying to change it’s focus to Disney+ and utilize it as a distribution tool for big releases like Netflix.

Disney’s dreams for Disney+ are for it to transcend from a streaming service to be a distribution tool for hot blockbuster releases at a premium to boost profitability — demonstrated by the fact that they charged $30 for ‘Mulan’ on the service when it was pulled from cinemas. Having already hit more than 100 million subscribers, surpassing its target of 60 million to 90 million by 2024, Disney+ is “emerging as a major challenger to the market leader Netflix, which has over 190 million subscribers.

Thematic Analyst Danyall Rashid points out that Disney is going to utilize synergistic strategies across Disney+ and the Disney retail divisions, as a way to bring in more revenue:

There is going to be a direct relationship between Disney+ and Disney retail. Disney’s advantage, in this sense, is that it is prominent in the children’s space, a key merchandising target market.

Moving forward Disney appears to be focusing on creating content, leveraging existing content, and then merchandising it for as much as they can get. This is not a new thing for the company, however, in the past Disney leveraged their theme parks and often the parks made up for any lacks in profits from other divisions. Now, the theme parks have become a temporary liability and Disney needs to squeeze more money out of the only two divisions they have left. Hence the focus on “new directions” moving forward.

Hopefully this works and doesn’t just create more brand fatigue among their more popular offerings.

What do you think? Comment and let us know.


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