Is the Disney Store closing?

On Wednesday (March 3), Disney announced that they will be closing at least 60 North American Disney Store locations by the end of this year.

According to Disney, the reason for the mass closures is because the company wants to focus on their e-commerce business. It's also partially due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on brick-and-mortar retail.

Disney said in a press release that they want to focus on their ShopDisney platform, which will soon be even more integrated with their Disney Parks apps and social media platforms. The retail giant also promised to release new and elevated merchandise for fans of all ages.

“While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer,” President of Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, Stephanie Young, explained. “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.”

There are nearly 300 Disney Stores worldwide. The closures will cut almost 25 percent of the Disney Stores in the United States and Canada in 2021. It is unknown how many workers will lose their jobs.

Shopping isn't the only area that Disney has been impacted by due to the pandemic. In November 2020, Disneyland, which was shut down last March, was able to open a portion of the park for shopping, entertainment and food experiences for guests, but the theme park was once again forced to shut down due to rising COVID cases.

However, Disneyland recently announced their "A Touch of Disney" experience, a ticketed food festival at Disneyland's California Adventure that will reportedly take numerous health and safety precautions. The new event debuts on March 18. Nearly 1,000 park employees will return to work for the special experience.

Walt Disney World shut down in March 2020 as well, but was able to re-open last July with a limited capacity of roughly 35 percent.

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