Godiva plans to close 128 chocolate stores across North America due to pandemic slump

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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY SOPHIE LAUBIE**Brussels chocolate factory workers wonder who’s chasing Godiva** Recent picture showing Godiva chocolates, taken 10 August 2007 in Brussels. Campell Soup annouced 10 August 2007 that it is considering selling its Belgian chocolate business Godiva because it wants to streamline its products to focus on bigger consumer foods like baked snacks, vegetable-based beverages and cans of soup. The company was named after the English legend of Lady Godiva who rode naked through the streets of Coventry to persuade her powerful husband to lift a heavy tax burden on the citizens. According to the Wall Street Journal investors from the Persian Gulf could also be interested in the business along with the major food and confectionery companies. The group can boast turnover of 500 million dollars a year, with a lot of that business done in the United States. AFP PHOTO/JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)

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(WJW) — In some not so sweet news, Godiva has opted to close its 128 stores across North America.

Citing the coronavirus pandemic and changing shopping habits, the Belgium chocolate company said it planned to shutter the locations by the close of their first quarter this year. However, brick and mortar spots would stay open in other countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

“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,” CEO Nurtac Afridi said in a statement. “… Of course, this decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hard-working chocolatiers who will be impacted.”

The company is far from the only one to close up stores across the continent through the past year, with many other businesses like Macy’s and Lord & Taylor also taking hits.

In Ohio, there are Godiva shops located in Strongsville, Columbus and Toledo. Chocolates will continue to be offered on the company’s website as well as in other stores.

It remains unclear at this time how many Godiva employees are going to be affected by the change.

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