Godiva Chocolatier is a Belgian company that produces chocolates and related products. The company was founded in Belgium in 1926 and it was acquired by the Ülker Group in 2007. Godiva has stores in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia and is also available in more than 10,000 assorted retail locations. Godiva also sells truffles, coffee, cocoa, biscuits, dipped fruits and sweets, chocolate liquor, shakes, including wedding and party favors, among other things.
However, this luxury chocolate brand has been unfortunately been caught in the global pandemic wave and hence it is closing all of its U.S. stores as demand for in-person chocolate shopping has softened during the coronavirus pandemic. The company plans to close or sell its 128 locations in North America, including 11 in Canada, by the end of March, Godiva confirmed in a statement. The company however has refused to make any comment on how many employees would be impacted by the store closures.
Less than two years ago, the company announced a major expansion into the café business. In 2019, Godiva opened its first café concept in New York City and said at the time it planned to expand the model to more than 400 locations in the United States and 2,000 spots worldwide.
Godiva plans to continue operating its retail stores in Europe, the Middle East, and China. By the end of March, chocolate lovers in the U.S. will have three choices to buy Godiva: order it online, through another retailer that stock it in their stores, or by traveling overseas.
“Our brick & mortar locations in North America have had a clear purpose since we first opened our doors in this market – to provide an in-person experience for consumers to enjoy the world’s most exquisite chocolates,” Godiva 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. Of course, this decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hard-working chocolatiers who will be impacted,” Afridi added.