The coronavirus pandemic has affected yet another retailer as luxury chocolate maker Godiva is closing or selling all its brick-and-mortar stores across the nation. It is planning to complete these operations by the end of March.
The closures have been accelerated due to the coronavirus which has impacted underperforming businesses. Godiva had its stores in malls. Even before the pandemic footfalls in malls were decreasing. The soaring spread of the virus, the lockdown and the emergence of high online sales orders provided the death knell for many retail stores across the United States, mainly those who were categorized as “luxury” stores as they provide non-essential services and goods.
The closures are also a setback for the luxury chocolatier’s expansion plans in the nation. The company had started opening cafes in select cities about twenty months ago. In April 2019, Godiva opened its first cafe in New York City as its flagship. It had also said that it would open 10 additional cafes in the New York. It wanted to expand across the nation as well and add at least 400 cafes.
Many employees have lost jobs as they were part of the brick-and-mortar stores, but no figures have been disclosed. The company plans to continue with its online sales as this is what has kept it afloat in these dire economic times. The luxury chocolatier will continue to sell its chocolates and other products through online sales as well as purchases that are made using Godiva grocery, club and retail partners.
Godiva had a long-term plan of opening 2,000 cafes across the world. This has come to almost naught though the company has said that its stores in Europe, China and the Middle East will remain open.