Disney on Wednesday announced that it will be closing at least 60 of its stores across North America to develop its e-commerce business amid the pandemic.
The company announced the move in a press release, writing that it will be focusing on “providing a more seamless, personalized and franchise-focused ecommerce experience through its shopDisney platform,” which the company added will be “complemented by greater integration with Disney Parks apps and social media platforms.”
Disney added that through its online stores, it plans on offering a broader range of products for customers, including “adult apparel collections and artist collaborations, trend-forward streetwear, premium home products and collectibles.”
Stephanie Young, president of Disney’s consumer products games and publishing, said in a statement along with the press release that “while consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer.”
“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,” Young said.
She went on to say that Disney plans “to create a more flexible, interconnected ecommerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”
The company’s press release stated that despite its expansion of e-commerce offerings, more than 600 Disney Parks stores, shop-in shops, lifestyle and outlet stores and third-party retailers offering Disney products will continue.
The shift to e-commerce comes as online retailers like Amazon have experienced a surge in profits amid the pandemic as stay at home and lockdown orders limited in-person shopping.
While several of Disney’s theme parks and attractions around the world have reopened at limited capacity and with safety restrictions, closures and reduced attendance in 2020 put significant financial strain on the company.
The company last year reported millions of dollars in fourth-quarter losses, although the corporation still outperformed expectations by analysts.