Walt Disney Co plans to close at least 60 Disney retail stores in North America this year, representing about 20% of its worldwide total, the company said today.
The move will see the entertainment conglomerate focus more on digital shopping platforms. Disney said it is also looking at cutting back on its European stores, but added that stores in Japan and China will not be shuttered. Also unaffected will be Disney stores in theme parks and through vendor partners like Target.
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There are approximately 300 Disney stores in the worldwide market. Disney did not reveal how many jobs would be lost as a result of the closings.
The news continues the trend away from retail shopping that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic. City storefronts across the nation stand empty, with little hope that anything will replace them beyond banks or drugstores.
“While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer,” said Stephanie Young, president of Disney’s consumer products, games and publishing.
Young added, “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.”
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