This Iconic Company Is Closing Dozens of Stores

Twenty percent of all locations will be shuttering as sales move online.

Even outposts of the most magical place on Earth can still fall victim to the economic woes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Disney has announced that it will be closing 20 percent of its current Disney Store locations worldwide as the company shifts towards online sales and e-commerce, CNBC reports. Read on to see why your next trip to the mall could be a little less nostalgic, and for more on retailers feeling the pandemic pinch, check out This Beloved Chain Is Closing All Its Stores.

The Walt Disney Co.'s announcement specified that 60 of their North American shops out of the 300 Disney Stores globally would be shuttered in the coming months, USA Today reports. However, the company said that its plans would not affect any of the 600 shopping experiences it offers in Disney Parks, store-in-store locations within Target, outlets, or third-party retailers.

"While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer," Stephanie Young, president of consumer products, games, and publishing, said in a statement, via People. "Over the past few years, we've been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world. We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected e-commerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises."

The company says they have plans to beef up their online offerings on the ShopDisney website, which will include more premium home products, collectibles, and an increase in adult apparel, CNBC reports. They hope to reach a wider audience by expanding beyond the traditional offerings found at brick-and-mortar Disney Stores, which typically focus on children's apparel, games, and toys.

While Disney may be one of the biggest players to face COVID-related shutterings, they are far from alone. Read on to see who else is closing up shops, and for a beloved restaurant that's also against the ropes, check out This Popular Pizza Chain Just Filed for Bankruptcy.

1
Paper Source

Paper Source storefront
Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock

After more than 37 years in business, beloved gift store Paper Source filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Mar. 2. The brand announced that due to losses stemming from the COVID pandemic, it plans to close at least 11 of its 158 stores, according to court documents obtained by Retail Dive.

The Chicago-based company's bankruptcy filing also notes that Paper Source had recently expanded to 161 retail locations after it acquired 27 stores from competitor Papyrus, which filed for bankruptcy in Jan. 2020 and started closing its retail locations the following month. Company sales for 2020 were reported to be $104 million, down more than 30 percent from $153.2 million the year prior. And for more retail news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

2
Victoria's Secret

L Brands, the parent company of iconic lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret, announced on Feb. 24 that up to 50 of the mall staple's stores would shutter by the end of 2021. Victoria's Secret had already seen major closures in 2020—in May 2020, it was announced that at least 250 stores would be closing, CNN reported. And for more clothing companies winding down their retail footprint, check out This Iconic Fashion Brand Is Starting to Shut Down Stores.

3
Solstice

solstice sunglasses store exterior
dennizn/Shutterstock

Sunglasses chain Solstice filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 18 after a massive hit last year. Sales for the brand, which operates 66 brick-and-mortar stores nationwide, were down more than 50 percent between 2019 and 2020.

"We are optimistic about reorganization as we continue to see increasing business in our stores as COVID restrictions are lifted and in the new fashions that our vendors are providing," Solstice CEO Mikey Rosenberg said in a statement. "We are now dedicating ourselves to the necessary changes to our business and the restructure of our obligations for the benefit of our employees, critical suppliers and other stakeholders." And for another company in trouble, check out This Beloved Movie Theater Chain Just Filed for Bankruptcy.

4
L'Occitane

l'occitane storefront
Shutterstock/Boris-B

Popular beauty and self-care company L'Occitane filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 26, announcing that it would soon be shuttering 23 of its 166 stores in the U.S. as part of its "store footprint optimization plan."

"Over the past year, we have moved aggressively to address COVID-related challenges head-on," L'Occitane North America Managing Director Yann Tanini said in a statement. "We look forward to working collaboratively with our landlords to achieve partnerships that make economic sense in this current retail environment and best position our marquee brand's boutique offering for years to come." And for more companies pulling out of retail altogether, check out This Iconic Store Is Closing All Its U.S. Locations.

Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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