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Credit: ITM

Is COVID to blame for Disney stores closing in North America?

By now, you’ve probably heard about the multiple Disney retail stores that have closed or have plans to close in the near future. In fact, Disney announced in March of this year that at least 60 of its retail stores across North America will close their doors by year’s end.

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Before the closures began, Disney Stores were located in 28 states in the U.S. and in 3 Canadian provinces. Closures have either taken place or are to take place before the end of the year in states like Texas, Utah, Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut, and even in states where U.S. Disney Parks are located–California and Florida. And that’s just to name a few.

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Disney was already moving toward a greater focus on its online retail store, ShopDisney.com, but in 2020, retail shopping soared because of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting quarantines that left many at home either by choice or necessity.

As a result, online sales across the board saw an increase of nearly 33%, which, according to an announcement made by Disney, gave the entertainment giant a push in the right direction–five years ahead of its projections.

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

At this time, there will be some Disney Store locations that remain open, such as the location at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the location at the Shoppes of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the Times Square location in New York, the Bellevue Square location in Virginia, and four locations in outlet malls in Texas, among others.

Credit: ITM

Target will also be tripling the number of mini-Disney stores in its retail locations, just in time for holiday shopping this fall.

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Somehow, we’re not quite sure the mini stores will feel as magical as the larger stores that we’ve come to love over the years.

 

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!