Disney has closed 38 of its retail stores around the U.S. as the company adjusts to consumers’ changing shopping habits amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This wave of closings is only the beginning of Disney stores disappearing from malls and shopping centers. On March 3, Disney announced it plans to shutter at least 60 brick-and-mortar locations in 2021 — about a third of their stores in North America. After these closures, Disney will still have more than 600 store locations around the world.
The closures come as Disney plans to shift its retail business focus to more e-commerce.
“While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer,” said Stephanie Young, Disney’s president of consumer products, games and publishing, in a press release. “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 e-commerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”
With the closure of these stores, Disney said it plans to emphasize a more personalized online shopping experience through a revitalized shopDisney platform. In addition to adding new and improved merchandise, Disney plans to boost integration between its e-commerce experience, theme parks and social media platforms.
Disney’s retail stores are designed to provide shoppers with the opportunity to experience a little of the magic of the Disney theme parks closer to home. Fans can find everything from toys and stuffed animals featuring their favorite Disney characters to clothing and home goods. In recent years, Disney teamed up with Target to open mini versions of their retail stores inside of select Target locations.
These are the Disney store locations that permanently closed as of March 23:
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