‘Now it’s time to say goodbye’: The Disney Store at Lehigh Valley Mall to close permanently after nearly 25 years – The Morning Call

A destination for Disney princess dolls, apparel, household items and more is ending operations later this month in Whitehall Township.
The Disney Store, offering clothes, collectibles and more based on popular Disney characters, is set to close “on or before September 15th” on the second level of the Lehigh Valley Mall, according to a store sign.
Customers shopping at the store during its final days will encounter a sale, featuring 20% off merchandise (all sales final) storewide.
“Now it’s time to say goodbye…” the sign at the store’s entrance reads. “… But don’t worry! You can still continue to shop all your favorites and more with the whole gang on shopdisney.com.”
The Whitehall Disney store, which opened in 1997, has clothes, toys, games, music and movies for girls, boys and adults, according to the company’s website.
Customers can find costumes, sleepwear and more from princesses like Ariel The Little Mermaid, Rapunzel and Cinderella, along with Marvel merchandise featuring characters such as Spiderman and Iron Man. Of course, there is plenty of Mickey Mouse emblazoned merchandise as well.
In response to a message seeking comment on the upcoming Whitehall store’s closure, a Disney spokesperson simply referred The Morning Call to a statement released by the company in the winter.
As part of a plan to focus on e-commerce, The Walt Disney Co. in March announced that it planned to close at least 60 Disney stores in North America this year.
There are approximately 300 Disney stores worldwide, and the scheduled closures account for about one-third of the company’s stores in North America, USA Today reported.
“While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer,” Stephanie Young, president of consumer products, games and publishing, said in the statement. “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 ecommerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”
Additionally, popular general merchandise retailer Target announced last month that it will expand the Disney Store at Target concept to more than 160 of its locations across the country by the end of the year, USA Today reported. There are currently 53 small shops inside Target stores along with an online store at Target.com/Disneystore.
The upcoming closure of the Whitehall Disney store will follow a string of recent openings at the Lehigh Valley Mall, including those of fashion retailers Ardene, Harlem Vibes and Hi Level Fashion, jewelry retailer Aslan Jewelers, toy store Toys Toys and interactive family-friendly business Slime Time, allowing children of all ages to make their own slime.
A few other businesses, including urban apparel retailer Big Bank Couture, burger chain Shake Shack and Pepper Palace — selling all-natural, small-batch hot sauces, salsas, seasonings and more, are expected to open in the coming months.
Additionally, the mall is set to welcome back Bravo! Italian Kitchen, a full-service restaurant that closed in March 2020, later this month.
The mall’s positive developments follow a turbulent 2020 and a rough start to 2021, where it saw more than a dozen businesses leave the shopping center amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Prominent departures included casual dining restaurants Frites and Ruby Tuesday, clothing chains Abercrombie & Fitch and New York & Co., candle company Yankee Candle, footwear retailers Clarks and Aldo, Modell’s Sporting Goods, and jewelry chains Helzberg Diamonds and Littman Jewelers.
On the bright side, 2020 also brough about a dozen new tenants, including arts and crafts chain Michaels; made-to-order doughnut and coffee business Dino Sweets; regional jeweler Murphy Jewelers; airsoft shooting gallery Battlestar; Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, selling beauty and personal care products; Hairitage Beauty Salon, offering hair services for men and women; and Track 23, a fashion company offering contemporary men’s and women’s apparel and accessories.

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