Walt Disney Co. said late Wednesday that it has officially taken over the Disney Store chain from Children's Place Retail Stores and plans to close about 100 stores in the United States and Canada.

The deal was announced in March after the Secaucus, N.J.-based-based subsidiary of Hoop Retail Stores LLC, which at one point operated 322 Disney Stores in North America, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Disney now owns and will operate 220 Disney Stores in the U.S. and Canada.

"For The Children's Place, we can once again focus exclusively on building our core namesake brand and driving the business forward," said Chuck Crovitz, interim chief executive of the children's clothing chain.

Children's Place took control of the stores in 2004 but Crovitz said in March the arrangement hadn't worked and the retailer was never able to post a profit.

Disney said James Fielding will become president of the chain, called Disney Stores Worldwide, and will oversee all North American operations as well as the 105 Disney Stores in Europe.

Shares in Disney were up 1.6 percent to $32.94 in early trading Thursday.

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