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

Credit: ITM

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

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!