Disney announces it will close 20 percent of its Disney Store locations by the end of 2021

Mar 03, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday March 3, 2021 4:30pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has announced that is plans to close 20% of its Disney Store retail locations by the end of the year as it restructures from COVID-19 and focusses on online sales.


The company operates around 300 Disney Stores across the world, and the closure will affect at least 60 of its U.S. stores according to reports. Details of which locations will close is not yet available.

As part of the increasing shift to online sales, Disney has said that it will update its shopDisney apps and website, and introduce more adult clothing and collectibles.

Disney's brick and mortar efforts appears to be focussed on its relationship with Target. Target and Disney have joined together for a project that includes the launch of Disney stores within select Target stores nationwide. 

The “shop-in-shop” features an enhanced Disney assortment of more than 450 items, including more than 100 products that were previously only available at Disney retail locations.

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SirwalterraleighMay 22, 2021

Just got a lovely email saying the closest one to me is closing... always sad

BrianLoMay 06, 2021

I wonder if they mismanaged them. I can speak to the Calgary Market Mall location. The mall was insanely busy again as of last summer and I think the Disney store was one of the very few closed retail locations a good 6 months after the mall reopening. I actually didn't realize how few there were in Canada... I lived across the street from it. Not that I ever bought anything or went in. 😂

Disney AnalystApr 28, 2021

This is the article that people are quoting: https://retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2021/04/disney-to-close-all-stores-in-canada-amid-retail-strategy-shift-sources/ But it seems to claim they are now closing all stores, including those in Canada… “Multiple sources have informed Retail Insider that US-based mass media and entertainment conglomerate Disney will be shutting almost all of its standalone retail stores, including all 18 locations in Canada. Two Canadian locations already shuttered last month. The move comes as Disney re-evaluates its operations amid a challenging time for retail and landlords in North America as the pandemic increasingly shifts consumer shopping patterns to online channels.”

donsullivanApr 27, 2021

Just because a geographic location is popular doesn’t automatically make a retail location profitable. Disney is clearly changing their retail strategy to one that doesn’t want as many physical brick-and-mortar stores so they are closing lots of them. They clearly have a new financial model and if a store doesn’t meet it today, or is expected to be unable to achieve the targets in the future they’re closing it down.

LdnoApr 27, 2021

That really doesn’t make any sense because they literally took down all 3 locations in San Antonio, all 3 being popular locations all over the city, i mean even downtown river center mall is a known location for it’s river walk tourist trap, there’s something big going around here. i visited all 3 locations and i can attest to the fact that all 3 operated differently, one store offered 20% while the downtown one offered 30% final sale discount. I can probably point the finger and say that Disney’s Target‘s venture is going full steam because to be honest there’s like at least 10 Targets around the same location of all the old 3 disney stores and at the time they did the limited galaxy’s edge theming everything sold out. With that said it wasn’t the best set up but it got the job done. I think that’s the route for them going forward. I also live within 30 minutes of the outlet disney store but from what I heard the outlet store is not owned by DIsney, but let’s just say I can shop for the biggest discounts there!!!

ppete1975Apr 27, 2021

thats not entirely what they are looking at though. They arent just closing the underperforming. They are closing the classic disney store model (leaving very few) and leaving the outlets and even building new ones. While outlets currently are popular we have seen this swap before, and with many malls going multiuse it seems short sited. It appears disney would rather have bland no magic boxes that can be opened quickly instead of themed spaces appears to be the bigger push.

donsullivanApr 27, 2021

It's less about the location of the store and totally about how much revenue/profit it generates. if the store isn't meeting the profit thresholds, and the lease is coming up (with a likely rent increase) it may be time to move on. Besides, in todays Amazon world, the vast majority of our society is now totally comfortable ordering this stuff on-line instead of going to a retail store. That doesn't mean that retail goes away, but it does mean you need a lot less of it to achieve the goals.

ppete1975Apr 27, 2021

i understand removing them from dead malls but some malls will make it out of this just fine. Especially the ones with movie theaters, aquariums, amusement parks, skating rinks etc. You would think disney would be plussing these, esp the ones not close to the parks.

EagleScout610Apr 27, 2021

Great Northern Mall, North Olmsted OH

ppete1975Apr 27, 2021

i hate to say its been coming for a bit..... remove the plussing- let the disney stores get run down- new locations are outlets with no theming- close disney stores leave outlets. Worst part is the website is horrible and disney is missing the biggest part. I can buy a mickey mouse shirt at walmart... or target. I can get something better on etsy. I go to disney stores for the magic... for that feeling in between trips. The old original stores were great!!! They even had special events (like the actual cars from cars in the parking lot of shopping mall near me), Now its a bland space with no theming no disney magic.. just a way to get rid of merchandise that didnt sell, and really cheap shirts. And the website is a joke. It sells out in not time, charges too much for shipping and is unreliable just to name a few things.

Disney AnalystApr 27, 2021

Yeah I’m not seeing it reported anywhere else yet. I sincerely hope they aren’t shutting out Canada fully… unless they seriously plan to update the online shipping experience for us.

ppete1975Apr 27, 2021

on the website it tells you what stores are closing.....

LdnoApr 27, 2021

I hate using Shop@Disney, Shipping plus Taxes can suck it. I walk by the two local Disney Stores that closed down Mid March and to be honest it’s sad not even new retailers are moving in, but I hate the people that think online shopping was the future… Granted that Shop@Disney offers free shipping but I hardly purchase anything more than $75 dollars at a time.

Disney AnalystApr 27, 2021

The site that can’t be named is saying all Canadian Disney stores to close by the summer 😱