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Godiva announced plans to close all of its brick-and-mortar shops in North America on Sunday.
All 128 stores, including 11 in Canada, will shutter or be sold by the end of March. The decision was made in part because in-person shopping has dropped significantly over the last year, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Godiva chocolates will still be available online as well as at grocery stores and through retail partners.
"Our brick & mortar locations in North America have had a clear purpose since we first opened our doors in this market – to provide an in-person experience for consumers to enjoy the world's most exquisite chocolates," said Nurtac Afridi, CEO of Godiva in a statement. "We have always been focused on what our consumers need and how they want to experience our brand, which is why we have made this decision."
It has not been disclosed how many employees will be impacted.
"Of course, this decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hard-working chocolatiers who will be impacted," Afridi said. "We have always been focused on what our consumers need and how they want to experience our brand, which is why we have made this decision."
While the North America stores are closing, Godiva intends to keep retail stores in China, Europe, and the Middle East in operations.
The closures go back on major plans to expand Godiva cafes. In 2019, the company announced plans to open 2,000 restaurant locations in the U.S. over six years. The first opened in New York City in April 2019 and featured a variety of drinks and desserts.