These are the Disney stores closing in the Tri-State area

NEW YORK -- The Disney Store, once a mall mainstay, is drastically reducing the number of locations it has in the United States and Canada.

Disney said it's closing at least 60 stores in North America, amounting to about 35% of its locations in the region. Moving forward, Disney is placing a larger emphasis on its e-commerce business rather than its brick-and-mortar footprint.

At least three of those stores are in the Tri-State area, according to the Disney Store website.

The three stores set to close on or before March 23 include the following locations:

-Tanger Outlets Riverhead, Riverhead, NY 11901
-Staten Island Mall, Staten Island, NY 10314
-Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold, NJ 07228

"While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer," said Stephanie Young, president of Disney's consumer products, games and publishing unit, in a press release.

Disney said that it's focusing on making its shopDisney platform a more "seamless" and "personalized" experience. That online revamp will be "complemented by greater integration with Disney Parks apps and social media platforms."

Covid-19 has spurred more people to move their shopping habits online. Research firm eMarketer recently said e-commerce sales across the world grew nearly 28% in 2020, surpassing $4 trillion.

Fans can still buy Mickey merchandise at theme park stores, third-party retailers and Disney shop-in-shops. In 2019, Target opened mini-Disney stores in 25 of its locations.

Disney has about 300 locations worldwide. It had nearly 800 locations globally at its peak in 1999.

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