Luxury chocolate-maker Godiva announced this week that the company will be shutting down all 128 of its U.S. and Canada stores by March due to in-person consumer habits completely changing by the pandemic, the chocolatier said in a statement. Though Godiva did see growth in online and grocery sales over the past year, it was not enough to justify keeping their retail presence alive.
Godiva said that the company will keep retail stores open in the Middle East, Europe, and greater China.
"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 in a statement obtained by Business Insider. "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."
Afridi was appointed CEO in December after serving as interim CEO for two months prior to her appointment. At the time, she cited plans for a “three-year strategy to seize new opportunities” through the company’s “omnichannel structure,” including plans to expand their product line. Godiva also mentioned at the time that they would be adjusting their operations strategies to better “align with consumer behavior.”
Prior to the start of the pandemic, Godiva was poised to enter the café market as a probable Starbucks competitor. In 2019, the chocolate company had said they were planning to open 2,000 cafes around the world over the next six years, which would all offer coffee drinks, sandwiches, and baked goods in addition to their signature chocolate products and drinks.
Godiva has approximately 5,000 chocolatiers in 100 countries worldwide.
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