Luxury chocolate brand Godiva is closing all its boutiques in the U.S due to low sales brought about by the pandemic.
The mass closure will affect 128 stores in North America with 11 located in Canada. It will be completed by March, as the stores are expected to carry out operations through Valentine’s season.
In a statement, Godiva said its in-store sales dipped over the past months due to the “acceleration of changes in consumers’ shopping behavior” which was “a result of the pandemic.”
The global crisis has led its brick and mortar stores to forfeit its “clear purpose” of providing “an in-person experience for consumers to enjoy the world’s most exquisite chocolates,” Godiva CEO Nurtac Afridi said in a previous statement.
The announcement came two years after the chocolatier announced its global expansion plan in 2019 to launch 2,000 cafes around the world by 2025.
Meanwhile, fans of Godiva can continue purchasing the specialty chocolates through its website and grocery stores. The chocolatier will also “maintain retail operations across Europe, Middle East, and Greater China in formats that reflect the unique cultural preferences of those markets.”
It did not, however, disclose the number of employees affected by the closures.
Godiva was founded in 1926 by the Draps family as a chocolate atelier in the Grand Palace in Brussels, Belgium. It was named in honor of Lady Godiva, an Anglo-Saxon gentlewoman famous for her legendary ride while nude through Coventry, Warwickshire, a popular story that has been disputed by historians.
Since then, Godiva has opened over 600 stores in North America, Middle East, Asia, and Europe.
In late 2014, Godiva began the construction of what was supposed to be its satellite cafe in the City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque City slated for debut in early 2015.
Its launch was later called off for undisclosed reasons. City of Dreams took over the space and later opened Café Society with the same store furnishings as Godiva.