Many businesses have been forced to close amid the coronavirus pandemic. The latest casualty is chocolatier Godiva, which will be permanently closing all 128 of its locations in North America. All stores, including 11 in Canada, will be closed or sold by the end of March 2021. Godiva’s locations throughout Europe, the Middle East and China will remain open, however.
The company has seen a decrease in shopping at its brick-and-mortar locations during the pandemic, while it has experienced growth in online sales and sales from grocery and retailer partners.
“Our brick-and-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,” CEO Nurtac Afridi said in a statement. “We have always been focused on what consumers need and how they want to experience our brand, which is why we have made this decision.”
The company did not indicate how many employees would be affected by the closures, which come just two years after Godiva introduced its first cafe concept in New York in 2019, a model which has been popular abroad. Seven locations that featured a full cafe menu will be part of the upcoming closures. Godiva planned for even more growth in North America over the coming years, but those plans have been stymied by the pandemic.
“Of course, this decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hardworking chocolatiers who will be impacted,” Afridi said. “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.”
Other companies in the food and beverage industry to announce mass closures or file for bankruptcy in recent months in the wake of the pandemic include Pizza Hut, IHOP and California Pizza Kitchen.
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