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Disney to close almost all of its stores in Canada by next month

Disney is planning on closing down almost all of its retail stores in Canada by next month.

Closures come as part of previously announced plan to shut down 60 stores in North America

Disney announced in March that it planned to close 60 locations across North America this year, but had no specific comment on its Canadian locations. Now it appears as though all Canadian locations will be closed by next month. In this picture, a shopper carries Disney's Frozen dolls sets as she walks through the Trafford Centre shopping mall past retailers offering Black Friday discounts in Manchester, northern England on Nov. 27, 2015.

Disney is planning on closing down almost all of its retail stores in Canada by next month.

The iconic chain announced in March that it planned to close 60 locations across North America this year, but had no specific comment on its Canadian locations, which at the time numbered 18.

"While consumer behaviour has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer," the company's statement at the time said. "Disney will remain flexible in its approach and continue to evolve its retail strategy to best meet the needs of consumers when and where they want."

Since then, two stores in B.C. and one in Ontario have closed. It now appears as though almost all the remaining stores are slated to close down within weeks.

The chain currently has three locations in Vancouver, two in Calgary, two in Edmonton, one in Winnipeg, one in Ottawa five in the Greater Toronto Area and two elsewhere in Ontario. According to the store locator map on the company's Canadian website, all but two of the GTA stores say they will be closed as of Aug. 18.

A spokesperson for Disney did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the fate of the two GTA stores not apparently slated for closure according to the chain's website: one in the Eaton Centre downtown, and one in Scarborough in the eastern end of the city.

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Retail analyst Bruce Winder says Disney has likely found more efficient ways to drive its brand and merchandise.

He says he expects the company will eventually connect its e-commerce platform shopDisney to its subscription streaming service Disney+.

The closure of Disney stores in Canada is part of sweeping changes hitting the retail industry and malls, Winder says.

"Malls are going to change considerably in terms of what they do and how they operate and what kind of stores are in there," he says.

 

With files from The Canadian Press

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