Godiva will be closing or selling all 128 of its stores in North America, which includes all of its U.S. locations, by the end of March.
“Demand for the in-person shopping experience offered through GODIVA’s brick and mortar locations has waned as a result of the pandemic and its acceleration of changes in consumers’ shopping behavior,” the company said in an emailed statement to TODAY Food.
Godiva products will still be available to buy online, as well as through its grocery, club and retail partners, the company said.
“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,” Godiva CEO Nurtac Afridi said 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 luxury chocolatier did not disclose how many employees will be affected by the store closures.
Godiva is one of many businesses to close locations in the midst of the pandemic, thanks to a drastic drop in the number of people shopping and dining in person. In August, Pizza Hut announced it would be closing up to 300 underperforming locations, and in October, IHOP announced it would be closing nearly 100 locations. Several businesses have also filed for bankruptcy over the past year, including California Pizza Kitchen and the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese.