disney store square one

Disney Store in Square One closing for good after almost 30 years

Disney Stores completely changed the mall-going experience for youngsters everywhere when they first started popping up in the late '80s and early '90s, and Canada was fortunate enough to serve as home for a handful of the nearly 400 locations the magical retailer once had.

Unfortunately, it seems that the Disney empire's magic (and hundreds of billions of dollars) has not been enough to keep all its brick-and-mortar shops afloat amid dwindling sales and a worldwide health crisis, with the brand announcing earlier in March that it will be shuttering at least 60 stores across North America this year.

One of those victims is the outpost in Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre at Highway 403 and Hurontario Street, which has served local kids and parents near the lower-level food court since all the way back in 1993.

The store will be closing on or before March 23, just shy of its 28th birthday.

A second Canadian location, at the CrossIron Mills mall just outside of Calgary, will also be permanently closing its doors, leaving 16 locations nationwide — pretty good considering that the 60 store closures represent 20 per cent of the company's North American retail footprint, but only 11 per cent of our stores are folding.

As stated in a press release, the entertainment giant plans to shift its focus to online sales through its dedicated shopping platform shopDisney, "which will be complemented by greater integration with Disney Parks apps and social media platforms."

"This will be coupled with an assortment of new and elevated merchandise from the company's full range of brands, including adult apparel collections and artist collaborations, trend-forward streetwear, premium home products and collectibles," the brand adds, also acknowledging the impact COVID-19 has had on in-person sales.

Along with the exclusive merchandise, the stores are known for hosting interactive events and performances from the conglomerate's most famous characters (at least, in non-pandemic times).

That will now be something that new generations will have to take a trip to Disneyland — or at least, to remaining Ontario Disney Store locations in Toronto, Vaughan, Newmarket, Scarborough, London, Hamilton and Ottawa — to get a taste of.

Lead photo by

Square One

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