The Walt Disney Company announced plans Wednesday to focus on its e-commerce business and close at least 60 stores in North America.
The press release said:
Over the next year Disney will focus on providing a more seamless, personalized and franchise-focused ecommerce experience through its shopDisney platform which will be complemented by greater integration with Disney Parks apps and social media platforms.
The move comes with an assortment of “new and elevated merchandise” from its range of brands which include adult apparel, artist collaborations, trend-forward streetwear, home products, and collectibles.
“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 noted:
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 ecommerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.
People will still be able to access the more than 600 Disney Parks stores, shop-in-shops, lifestyle and outlet locations, and third party retailers around the globe, the company said.
The decision comes as online retailers such as Amazon experienced a surge in profits during the coronavirus pandemic due to lockdown orders limiting in-person shopping.
In August, Amazon was reportedly talking with the largest mall owners in the United States in hopes of turning retail spaces into fulfillment centers.
“Many of the department stores previously occupied by Sears and JCPenney, both of which have filed for bankruptcy and closed dozens of stores, have left retail spaces across the country empty,” according to Breitbart News.
However, Amazon has already set up fulfillment centers in strip malls that went out of business.
In February, the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCN) announced it was launching a campaign to reveal Amazon’s plan to kill small businesses, Breitbart News reported.
“Amazon has been running op-eds and advertisements urging lawmakers to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour,” JCN said in a press release.
“After nearly a year of pandemic-related shutdowns, a $15 minimum wage could be a deathblow to the thousands of small businesses already hanging on by a thread,” the foundation stated.