In a move that should surprise no one, it was reported today that Disney will be shuttering 20% of their brick and mortar Disney Store retail locations throughout the United States. The company joins a long list of a retail giants that are shifting their focus from shopping malls to online shopping carts.
On Wednesday, Disney announced that they will be closing sixty retail locations within the United States by the end of this year, they will then review worldwide locations, with anticipated closures coming next year throughout Europe.
As part of this shift to e-commerce, Disney will be revamping their ShopDisney website, a move that many Disney fans would agree is long overdue.
While these changes were definitely amplified by the pandemic, they were not caused by it. The shift from retail locations to online shopping had already begun before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe and forced consumers to get familiar with online shopping. It is estimated that Covid-19 accelerated this shift by about five years, as industry-wide e-commerce sales increased 32.4% in 2020 alone.
Aside from an increased focus on their ShopDisney website, the company is also maintaining their successful retail partnerships with Target, which provides them a physical footprint in more than fifty Target stores.
Disney also plans to shift much of their retail focus and introduce more adult apparel, streetwear, premium home products, and collectables, a shift from their previous focus on children’s clothes, games, and toys.
Further details regarding Disney’s plans for their products division are expected soon and we will cover all of them in detail here at The DisInsider.
Editors Note: While this shift was inevitable, it does not make the news any easier for employees at these retail locations, as the closures will result in layoffs for workers at the stores. Disney has yet to announce which locations will be closed. We sincerely hope that they make the list known soon so uneffected employees can have some peace of mind and, more importantly, employees at the closing stores can have sufficient time to make plans.