The Disney Store at White Rose shopping centre expected to close down
The Disney Store at the White Rose Shopping Centre is expected to close.
Rumours have been circulating for weeks that Disney will close all its UK stores, except the flagship Oxford Street store in London.
Disney has not formally commented, but staff at the White Rose store are expecting it to close - although they have not been given a firm date.
Earlier this year, the global giant revealed plans to focus on its e-commerce business and "significantly reduce its brick-and-mortar footprint".
The Disney Store has been a part of White Rose since it first opened in 1997.
Ex-staff members expressed their sadness about the impending closure on Facebook.
One said it was "really sad", while another said she was "so gutted" for existing staff.
One Disney lover has created a petition calling on Disney to rethink its plans.
Sam Cummins, of Cardiff, started the petition and it has now gathered more than 14,000 signatures.
Sam said: “The stores will all be closed by September 2021.
“This means all of the magical Disney stores that have been on our high streets for many years will soon disappear.
“Not everyone is fortunate enough to live near the Oxford Street store and the UK doesn’t have its own Disney Park, the closest being Disney Land Paris which is not even in our country.
“These stores are our gateway to the magical world of Disney.
“It allows the people of the UK to experience the Disney magic first hand - but soon all that will be gone.
“We can’t let these magical places disappear.”
Speaking about North American store closures earlier this year, Stephanie Young, president, Consumer Products Games and Publishing at Disney, said: “While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer.
“Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world.
"We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected e-commerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”
A spokesperson for White Rose declined to comment.
Disney did not respond to a request for comment.
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