Disney will shutter dozens of brick-and-mortar stores
Move affects North America locations selling Mickey Mouse merch as company pivots toward e-commerce
Even Mickey Mouse isn’t safe in the pandemic.
Walt Disney Company plans to close 60 Disney Store locations across North America as part of its shift to e-commerce.
With 300 stores worldwide, the closures reflect a 20 percent cut in the brick-and-mortar footprint, according to the Los Angeles Times. Disney Company already shuttered more than a dozen stores last year.
Representatives did not say which stores would close or how many employees would be laid off. Disney shops within other retailers, including Target, are not affected by the closures.
Disney closed all of its Disney Store locations last March as the coronavirus took hold worldwide; some never reopened. As of late September, at least 10 stores in the U.S. had permanently closed, and another eight were in the process of closing, according to Disney news outlet DisKingdom.com.
Disney Company as a whole has also been hit hard by the pandemic. It was forced to close its theme parks and faced pushback from employees when some of those venues reopened.
The company opened its first Disney Store in 1987, at the Glendale Galleria mall in Los Angeles County. Disney turned the chain into a franchise in the mid-2000s; it sold its operations to various companies worldwide. By 2010, the company had bought back all of the Disney Store locations.
[LAT] — Dennis Lynch