Godiva Announces Closure of Its US Stores

An alarming moment for retail

Godiva To Close All North American Stores Due To Pandemic Recession
A Godiva chocolate store in Atlanta, Georgia.
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

What happens when the economic effects of a pandemic clash with the ability to buy chocolate in a local shopping mall? It may not be a UFC bout for the ages, but it’s consequential nonetheless. Unfortunately for fans of chocolate, the pandemic’s devastating effect on the retail industry seems to have come out ahead in this instance, with the news that Godiva is shuttering or selling all of its stores in the United States and Canada.

The stores are slated to closed by the end of March. All in all, that will affect 128 retail locations. As NJ.com’s headline for the story puts it, “Farewell, fancy mall chocolate.” The article also notes this announcement represents a surprising reversal from Godiva, who had announced a plan to open cafes around the nation just 2 years ago. It’s a stark illustration of how sudden and dramatic the pandemic affected the retail world.

Godiva noted in its announcement that a series of retail and grocery partnerships, as well as online options, would keep their chocolates available for sale. Godiva’s stores elsewhere in the world will not be affected by this decision.

The company’s CEO, Nurtac Afridi, addressed the uncertain future awaiting many of their retail employees in a comment to Business Insider. “Of course, this decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hard-working chocolatiers who will be impacted,” Afridi said. It’s a worrying development in an industry that’s been hit hard during the pandemic.

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