Walt Disney Co plans to close at least 60 Disney retail stores in North America this year, representing roughly 20% of its total worldwide, the company said today.
The move will result in the entertainment conglomerate focusing more on digital shopping platforms. Disney said it also intends to restrict its European stores, but added that stores in Japan and China will not be closed. Disney stores in theme parks and through partners such as Target are also not affected.
There are approximately 300 Disney stores in the world market. Disney did not reveal how many jobs would be lost as a result of the shutdown.
The news continues the trend away from retail shopping that was exacerbated by the pandemic. City storefronts across the country stand empty with little hope that anything beyond banks or drugstores will replace them.
“As consumer behavior has shifted towards online shopping, the global pandemic has changed consumer expectations of a retailer,” said Stephanie Young, president of Disney’s Consumer Products, Games and Publications.
Young added, “We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected e-commerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all of our franchises.”