There have been rumors that all UK branches of the Disney store will close by the end of 2021. While Disney has not officially confirmed these rumors, it seems increasingly likely.
We have already seen 60 stores in North America (including all stores in Canada) close their doors and this week the UK has been rocked by several closures.
Current rumors indicate that all UK stores except the Oxford Street flagship store in London will close.
Locations where stores have already closed include Blackpool, Southhampton and now the popular Bluewater Mall store.
READ: Disney keeps ‘The Little Mermaid’ sequel on table
Although small, the Bluewater branch was popular with many customers visiting the store at least once on each trip.
Outside the UK, stores will also close in France, Spain and the Republic of Ireland, with only the Dublin store remaining open.
Why all these closures?
The pandemic has hit many businesses and Disney is no exception. With their resorts closed for most of the year and their movies delayed for most of 2020, they’ve worked hard to keep costs down wherever they can.
Exclusive: Disney legend Hayley Mills talks about her new memoir, “The Parent Trap” and more (interview)
Outside of flagship stores, Disney will be focusing its efforts on its ShopDisney websites which have been operating for many years now.
As stores close across the United States, Disney will open pop-up stores in 160 targets. It remains to be seen whether other countries will receive similar pop-up stores, but since the UK does not have Target, Disney could potentially strike a deal with ASDA (the UK version of Walmart and the closest equivalent of Target ).