The COVID-19 pandemic has left a bitter taste in the mouths of so many people and now it’s claiming one way to sweeten up our lives.
The global chocolate giant Godiva has announced it is closing down its Burnaby store at the city’s biggest mall, Metropolis at Metrotown.
The company is selling or closing all of its stores across North America.
The luxury chocolatier says 128 brick-and-mortar locations, including 11 in Canada, will shut by the end of March.
This follows a string of store closures in Burnaby, including Aldo, Thyme Maternity, Pink, Microsoft and Frank and Oak.
The company declined to say how many jobs will be affected by the decision. Godiva also operates a store in Richmond.
Burnaby chocolate lovers will still have plenty of places to buy chocolates, including Charlie's Chocolate Factory, Mon Paris Patisserie, Chez Christophe, Purdys and more. Some of the Burnaby outlets are currently taking part in the annual chocolate festival.
Godiva will maintain retail operations across Europe, the Middle East and China.
The closures mark a reversal from its strategy announced in 2019 to open 2,000 cafe locations worldwide, including more than 400 in North America.
It says a key part of its moves has been to focus on retail food and pharmacy locations as well as online.
It noted that in-person shopping at its own stores has waned because of the pandemic and changes in consumer shopping behaviour.
“Godiva is already available in many retailers in North America and we will continue to increase our presence there while always upholding the premium quality, taste, and innovation that we have been renowned for since we were founded in Brussels in 1926,” stated CEO Nurtac Afridi.
- With files from The Canadian Press