The Belgian brand was founded in 1926 and is currently owned by Turkish conglomerate Yildiz Holding and MBK Partners. It has 128 brick-and-mortar locations in the US, including 11 in Canada.
“Our 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,” said Nurtac Afridi, CEO of Godiva, in a press 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.”
Along with changes in consumer shopping behaviour due to the pandemic, a key part of Godiva’s decision was to focus on food stores and pharmacies, as well as online shopping.
“Of course, this decision was difficult because of the care we have for our dedicated and hard-working chocolatiers who will be impacted. We are grateful for all they have done to make wonderful moments for our consumers and spread happiness through incredible customer service and living our values and behaviours,” she said.
Godiva has confirmed it will keep its retail operations across Europe, the Middle East and Greater China “in formats that reflect the unique cultural preferences of those markets.”