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USA TODAY

Godiva is closing all its locations in the United States as shopping for its luxury chocolate during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company plans to close its 128 locations in North America, including 11 in Canada, by the end of March. But Godiva chocolates do not disappear completely. You can still get them online, both in grocery and other stores.

The Belgian-based company said in a statement that demand for personal shopping was “weakening as a result of the pandemic and the acceleration of changes in consumer shopping behavior”.

Many of Godiva’s boutiques are located in shopping malls, which have been hit hard by the pandemic, with many malls temporarily closed for several weeks starting in mid-March.

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According to a recent CoStar report, more than 60 major retailers have gone bankrupt and more than 12,200 stores have been declared closed in 2020, which is bigger than in the past.

Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and JC Penney have announced store closures in 2021. Clothing retailer Christopher & Banks has announced it will close all its stores after filing for protection against bankruptcy in Chapter 11.

“Our North American brick and mortar locations have had a clear purpose since we first opened in this market – to provide a personal experience for consumers to enjoy the world’s finest chocolates,” said the CEO. Godiva Nurtak Afridi in a statement.

The closure of the stores comes less than two years after Godiva announced a major expansion plan in April 2019 to open 2,000 cafes around the world in six years. Seven American cafes are currently listed on its website.

Godiva will still “support retail operations in Europe, the Middle East and Greater China in formats that reflect the unique cultural preferences of these markets.”

Godiva said she did not disclose the number of employees affected by the closure.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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