While no official announcement has been made, Disney lists on its store locator that only three of its 16 Canadian shops will stay open. They are in the Eaton Centre, Scarborough Town Centre and Vaughan Mills shopping malls in Ontario.
All other stores are closing by Aug. 18 or have already closed. They include:
- Market Mall: 3625 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary
- Southcentre Mall: 100 Anderson Rd. SE, Calgary
- Kingsway Mall: 109 Street & Kingsway, Edmonton
- West Edmonton Mall: 8882-170 St., Edmonton
- Lime Ridge Mall: 999 Upper Wentworth St., Hamilton, Ont.
- Rideau Centre: 50 Rideau St., Ottawa
- Masonville Place: 1680 Richmond St. N., London, Ont.
- Upper Canada Mall 17600 Yonge St., Newmarket, Ont.
- Yorkdale Plaza: 3401 Dufferin St, Toronto
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- Metropolis at Metrotown: 4820 Kingsway, Burnaby, B.C. (permanently closed)
- Guildford Town Centre: 10355 152 Street, Surrey, B.C. (permanently closed)
- Pacific Centre 701 West Georgia St., Vancouver (permanently closed)
- Polo Park Shopping Centre 66Q-1485 Portage Ave., Winnipeg
When asked for confirmation on the store closures in Canada, Disney referred Global News to its store locators page, and a March news release announcing plans to significantly reduce its bricks-and-mortar footprint in North America.
In that release, Disney announced plans to focus on online sales, and the closure of at least 60 stores in North America.
“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, in a statement at the time.
“Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world. We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected ecommerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”
Retail analyst Bruce Winder told The Canadian Press that Disney has likely found more efficient ways to drive its brand and merchandise.
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.