Disney confirms it’s in ‘consultation with group of UK Stores’ over closures

Disney has confirmed that it is holding consultations with an initial group of stores in the UK about their closure in its first official acknowledgement of speculation that all but its flagship London store was to shut up shop in the UK.

Rumours have been circulating that Disney has been planning to close all but one of its 34 stores in the UK, leaving its London Oxford Street store open to the public as its flagship bricks and mortar destination.

As tracked by the Snopes.com online resource, shutdowns of the Disney’s country-wide fleet of shops appear to be happening on a store-by-store basis. One of the latest to face closure is the company’s Highcross, Leicester unit.

The Disney pop-up in Highcross has, according to the Leicester Mercury, seen significant amount of success since it was welcomed back to the retail space in 2017. However, officials at Disney have since confirmed that it is now one of a number of stores part of a consultation period, with the possibility of closure.

A statement from a Disney Store spokesperson, said: “We are currently in consultation with an initial group of Stores in the UK, including our Leicester Store.”

Benzinga has been following the developments of the Disney Store in the US, reporting that in March this year, the retail operation of the global corporation detailed its efforts to pivot from brick and mortar stores to e-commerce, beginning with the closure of at least 60 of its North American stores.

“While consumer behaviour 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.

“Over the past few years, we have been focusing on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney Store shops-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 of our franchises.”

The strategy appears to be implemented in other European countries, including in Ireland where a single Disney Stores is expected to remain in Dublin, and in France where stores will remain operational at Disneyland Paris and on the Champs-Elysees.