The Disney Store heyday came just around the time of Who Framed Roger Rabbit's release in theaters. Naturally, this meant there would be Roger merchandise throughout the stores. The retail locations back then mostly offered park merchandise, and had not yet established itself as its own entity. The Roger, Jessica, and Baby Herman porcelain statues (among the first ever Roger merchandise created) were found in Disney stores at the time, but also in the parks as well.
Jeweler Wendy Gell had her line of pavé crystal pins available at the stores. You had your choice of several Disney characters, but more notably was her Jessica Rabbit series. Any Roger or Jessica merchandise became slim to find as the years passed, however there were some things that were released by surprise throughout the years. A Roger Rabbit baseball-style shirt was released in the early 90's featuring most of the toon cast from the movie fully embroidered on the back - Bongo the Gorilla, Benny the Cab, Psycho, Jessica, Roger, Baby Herman, Smartguy, and Greasy.
The look of the store changed dramatically for some locations. What was once fun for kids and collectors alike, became only for a target age group of 4 to 12. High end collectibles, such as Classics Collection statues, snowglobes, animation cels and the like, were no longer offered. Instead it was girls dolls, boys pyjamas, and kids clothes. This is where we begin the birth of The Princesses as a brand, and this is were it all started to go wrong.
The Children's Place company wanted to breathe new life into the stores with a fresh look and target audience. They had a contract for 50 years to operate the Disney Store, however they pulled out after just four years. There were too many stores to remodel and the stores also only began to sell merchandise of the new, trending movie for the time. There was also the habit of releasing merchandise and then marking it down only a few weeks after its release, and creating its own competition by making Disney Outlet stores specifically selling marked-down merchandise. Adding to all that, the flagship stores in New York and California disassociated themselves by changing their name to World Of Disney.
When the Disney Store was sold back to the Disney Company, not all of them remained. 98 stores were closed in 2008, many of them being new - or longtime staples of their mall or location, leaving no Disney Store in certain cities. Ironically, it was the Disney Store that brought fourth the new generation of pin traders and collectors with the Countdown to the Millennium series. After that, however, they started to sell their pins online rather than in stores.