A Bunch Of Disney Stores Are Closing Up Shop Across The U.S.
Disney plans to "significantly reduce its brick-and-mortar footprint" and focus on e-commerce.
Some might call the end of an era. At least 60 Disney stores are closing up shop as the company plans to focus more on online sales. This year alone, approximately 30% of Disney retail locations will be closed across North America in response to the massive shift to online shopping that has happened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are currently around 300 Disney stores around the world, with 200 of those based in the United States and Canada. In 2021, 60 of those stores will close, Disney announced on Wednesday.
"While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer,” Stephanie Young, president of Disney's consumer products games and publishing division, said in a statement. “Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world. We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected ecommerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”
Disney did not release a list of retail outlets that are expected to close nor an estimate of projected job loss that will happen as a result of these closures. The company's statement only said it plans to "significantly reduce its brick-and-mortar footprint, beginning with the closure of at least 60 stores in North America this year."
Moving forward, Disney plans to focus on shopDisney, as CNN reported, with the company aiming to create a more "personalized" online shopping experience for customers.
Disney has gone through a lot of changes since the outset of the pandemic in early 2020. All of its theme parks were closed last March, with Disneyland in California remaining closed to this day and is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination site.
Despite the closure of 60 Disney stores across North America, there are still mini-Disney outlets in 25 Target stores across the country for anyone who wants to visit a brick-and-mortar location. Because sometimes you need to get your hands on a stuffed animal in person before you buy it. Your clean, sanitized hands. Let's not be foolish.