DURHAM – Luxury chocolatier Godiva is getting out of the brick and mortar business. The company is closing or selling all 128 of its brick-and-mortar stores in North America, it announced in a statement. It plans to complete the closures and sales by the end of March.
On tha list is a Godiva Chocolatier in The Streets at Southpoint mall in Durham.
In a statement, CEO Nurtac Afridi, said the company has “always been focused on what our consumers need and how they want to experience our brand, which is why we have made this decision.”
“Of course, this decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hard-working chocolatiers who will be impacted,” he added, according to Fox News. “We are grateful for all they have done to make wonderful moments for our consumers and spread happiness through incredible customer service.”
The Godiva Chocolatier in Durham’s website says it “offers a selection of freshly dipped treats in addition to our luxury chocolate gift boxes, irresistible chocolate truffle and butter shortbread biscuit cookies.”
Godiva will keep its stores open across Europe, Middle East and Greater China. The company did not disclose information on how many employees would be let go because of the closures.
Less than two years ago, Godiva was planning a massive expansion by getting into the cafe business. The chocolatier opened its first cafe in the United States in New York City in April 2019 and announced that it planned on opening 10 more cafes in New York and more than 400 across the United States. It was part of a plan to open 2,000 new cafes around the world.
But that plan never came to fruition. Godiva relied heavily on mall traffic, which has been plummeting even before the pandemic. But Covid was the final nail in the coffin for Godiva, along with dozens of other underperforming businesses.
The retail apocalypse in particular has come for restaurants, mall stores, businesses that rely on impulse shopping and luxury retailers. Godiva represents all of those doomed categories.