Chocolate Maker Is Closing All Stores in US

Godiva scraps cafes, cites the pandemic
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2021 7:43 AM CST
Pandemic Foils Plans of Another Business
A display of chocolate treats is displayed at Godiva's cafe in New York in April 2019.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The pandemic has just slammed another business: Chocolate maker Godiva will close all 128 of its stores in North America by the end of March, reports CNN Business. All but 11 are in the US, though the company did not disclose how many jobs would be lost. As USA Today notes, Godiva is not going out of business. Customers in the US will be able to order the high-end chocolate online or find it in various grocery or retailer chains. And Godiva, which was founded in Belgium, is keeping its brick-and-mortar stores in Europe, the Middle East, and China.

In 2019, Godiva rolled out a business plan to aggressively enter the "cafe" business, notes CNN, and it planned to eventually open more than 400 such locations in the US. In addition to chocolate, they sell coffee, sandwiches, and baked goods, notes Business Insider. The coronavirus, however, has brought an end to that strategy. In-person shopping "waned as a result of the pandemic and its acceleration of changes in consumers’ shopping behavior," says the company in a statement. Most of the current Godiva shops in the US are in malls, which were struggling to lure shoppers even before COVID. (Godiva joins a long list of companies hit hard by COVID.)

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