Godiva Is Closing All of its Chocolate Stores in North America
Interest in chocolates may have spiked here in the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia last year in the midst of the pandemic, but business isn’t looking so good for at least one famous brand. Godiva Chocolatier announced that it will close down all of its brick-and-mortar locations in North America due largely to the steep decline in in-person shopping.
The Belgium-based chocolate maker announced that the closure will affect 128 of its stores and cafes in the continent by March. It did not say exactly how many employees will be affected.
“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," Godiva CEO Nurtac Afridi said in a statement.
The company’s merchandise will still be available in partner retail stores and supermarkets in North America, as well as online. Physical stores in its other markets (Europe, Middle East, Asia) will continue operations.
Founded in 1926 in Brussels, Godiva was acquired by a Turkish company in November 2007. It is named after Lady Godiva, who legend says chose to ride on a horse naked through the streets of the town of Coventry in England so her husband would lower oppressive taxes.
The company had approximately 650 stores worldwide as of 2016. There are no standalone Godiva stores in the Philippines but it is available in specialty retailers and duty free shops. It has locations in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and others in the region.
Godiva is the latest in a long list of businesses and retailers that have been forced to close down because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.