Godiva will shutter all its shops in the United States and Canada by March as it struggles with a drop in sales

  • Godiva will shut its North American locations by the end of March.
  • The company said sales dropped due to the decline of in-person shopping and a change in buying habits during the pandemic
  • Locations in Europe, Greater China, and the Middle East will remain operational. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Godiva plans to close all 128 of its brick-and-mortar locations in North America, including 11 locations in Canada, by the end of March, the company said Sunday.

In-person shopping at its brick and mortar locations dropped during the coronavirus pandemic as consumer buying behavior changed, Godiva said in an emailed statement. The company has seen growth in online sales and sales from grocery and retail partners.

Godiva will maintain retail operations across its locations in the Middle East, Europe, and greater China, according to the statement. 

“Of course, this decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hard-working chocolatiers who will be impacted,” CEO Nurtac Afridi said. “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.”

The company didn’t disclose the number of employees who will be impacted by the decision. 

Read more: Godiva’s CEO explains how the company’s 75% female workplace achieved diversity without ‘trying to hit a quota 

Last month, Godiva appointed Afridi as its new CEO after she served as interim chief executive for two months, according to the company’s statement. Afridi’s leadership team developed a three-year strategy to seize new opportunities through the company’s omnichannel structure.

In 2019, Godiva said that it would open up to 2,000 cafes around the world within six years. The cafes offer products beyond chocolate such as baked products, sandwiches, and coffee.

The company launched an initiative in 2020 to support NGOs that align with the company’s values. The Lady Godiva Initiative selected five nonprofit organizations that received a $25,000 grant each to continue its work in women empowerment.

Godiva has around 5,000 chocolatiers in 100 countries worldwide.

Read More: Chocolate maker Godiva is opening up cafés selling desserts all over the US — take a look inside the very first one

View original article here Source