On Thursday (March 4) Disney announced it will be shuttering a number of its retail stores across the United States and Canada. Disney will close at least 60 locations of The Disney Store in the near future, which will amount to roughly 35% of Disney Store locations in the North American region.
According to CNN, this move comes in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions, which saw a number of consumers move from in-person shopping to online shopping. Moving forward, Disney will focus on e-commerce instead of the brick-and-mortar side of its retail business.
"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 unit, explained in a press release. As a result, Disney will "revamp" its shopDisney platform to create a more "seamless" and "personalized" experience for the Disney customer. This overhaul will be "complemented by greater integration with Disney Parks apps and social media platforms."
For those who still enjoy the in-person shopping experience, don't worry too much about this move. Disney merchandise will still be available for purchase in stores located in its theme parks, as well as third-party retailers such as Target.
As of now, it's unclear which The Disney Store locations will be shutting their doors. There are about 300 locations open worldwide at the moment.