SALT LAKE CITY — Disney is closing even more brick-and-mortar store locations by Sept. 15, including the location in City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, leaving only 25 out of 300 in North America and none in Utah. The closest remaining store for Utahns will be in Las Vegas.
This wave of closures of 57 Disney Store outlets across North America is part of an effort by the company to focus on online shopping at shopDisney.com in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, citing changes in consumer shopping and a desire to connect shopping to the Disney Parks app.
The online store will expand to include "adult apparel collections, street wear, premium home products and collectibles" in coming months, Disney said in the announcement. The wave of closings won't reach the stores in the Disney theme parks.
"While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer," said Stephanie Young, president of consumer products, games, and publishing at Disney, in a state. "Over the past few years, we've been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world. We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected e-commerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises."
North America is the first part of the world closing these stores, but Disney will be evaluating whether to close up shop in Europe and other parts of the world as well.
Disney has also partnered with Target to create new Disney Store "shop-in-shops" at 160 retail locations in select cities. The company has not yet announced where the new locations will be. There are currently two in Utah: South Jordan and American Fork.
Disney has not yet released a statement about how the closures will impact employees and cast members at these locations but did acknowledge that there would be an undisclosed number of layoffs as the stores close.