Godiva is riding its company horse out of North America and shutting down or selling all 128 of its brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S. and Canada by the end of March, the chocolatier announced on Sunday. The company’s stores in the Middle East, Europe, and China will remain open, but that’s of little use to America’s last-minute gift-givers who previously could’ve counted on swinging by the mall post-work and treating their loved ones to a gilded box of truffles.
In a statement, Godiva cited the drop in traffic during the pandemic and changing consumer buying behavior as reasons behind the decision, per Business Insider. While people are no longer shopping in person at Godiva stores, the company has seen growth in online sales and purchases through its retail and grocery partners.
In 2019, the chocolate maker opened its first-ever U.S. cafe in New York, selling its signature confectionery alongside drinks and food like sandwiches, salads, and something called the “croiffle,” a.k.a. a croissant press into a hot waffle (classic 2019). At the time, Godiva had plans to open 2,000 cafes over the next six years.
Beyond the devastating loss of the croiffle in North America, Godiva’s store shutdowns will also impact an undisclosed number of employees.
“Of course, this decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hard-working chocolatiers who will be impacted,” CEO Nurtac Afridi said in a statement. “We have always been focused on what our consumers need and how they want to experience our brand, which is why we have made this decision.”