Life is like a box full of chocolates. But, if you’re planning on looking for that box of chocolates at your nearest Godiva location, it will no longer be there by the end of March.
On Sunday, the company announced it is closing and selling all of its 128 brick-and-mortar stores in North America. Godiva retail stores in Europe, China, and the Middle East will remain open, however.
The retail apocalypse is one that began years ago, but the pandemic made it so much worse. And, Godiva, which has many locations inside malls, strongly felt the presence of declining foot traffic. According to USA Today, the company’s demand for in-person shopping “waned as a result of the pandemic and its acceleration of changes in consumers’ shopping behavior.”
With in-store sales decreasing and online sales on the rise, it comes as no surprise to see the company closing its big box stores.
“Our brick & mortar locations in North America have had a clear purpose since we first opened our doors in this market – to provide an in-person experience for consumers to enjoy the world’s most exquisite chocolates,” said Godiva CEO Nurtac Afridi in a statement. “We have always been focused on what our consumers need and how they want to experience our brand, which is why we have made this decision.”
“This decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hard-working chocolatiers who will be impacted,” she continued. “We are grateful for all they have done to make wonderful moments for our consumers and spread happiness through incredible customer service and living our values and behaviors.”
The privately held company did not disclose how many employees it will lay off because of the closures.
In 2019, Godiva had big plans. The company announced an expansion plan to open 2,000 cafes. The first opened in New York in April 2019, but those plans are now a thing of the past.
While all North American stores are closing, including 11 in Canada, don’t despair chocolate lovers! You’ll still be able to purchase your favorite luxury chocolates on the company’s website, and the company’s grocery, club, and retail partners.