Opinion: It’s Not Retail That’s Dying. It’s Our Imagination.June 09, 2018
Retail executives can learn a lot from Disneyland and the world's largest fish market, argues Shilpa Shah.
I’ve always loved Disneyland. Hundreds of people navigating through so many different spaces, crafting their own journey, and not a rock out of place or an adult that wasn't in some kind of character. As a kid I wanted so badly to be a part of it that I actually tried out for a role as Goofy in the Main Street Parade (it was the only character where my height and lankiness worked to my advantage).
I didn't get the job, but many years later I finally landed a role I was more suited for: designing the digital version of the magical journey through Disney’s parks. One of the perks was I got to go to Disneyland whenever I wanted. So one day, I brought my mom with me. And the same woman who all those years ago had frantically chased us kids around the park went into a trance. I literally had to pry her away from watching the princess parading toward her castle. In a strange reversal of roles, it was her bolting into the gift shop searching for something she could take home with her. She was asking for the exact same thing I had wanted all those years — a way to prolong the magic. To extend the feeling she had, by bringing back an artefact that could transport her.
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