BARBOURSVILLE - Despite facing the brick wall that is corporate Disney, families rallied at the Disney Store in the Huntington Mall Sunday afternoon in an attempt to show what an asset the store is to the community.
Huntington Mall leadership learned this past week the Disney Store, the only one in West Virginia, will close its doors in July. Rumors swirled that it was a lease disagreement with the mall, but officials with the mall said they were as surprised as anyone at Disney's decision.
"It appears that the closing of this store is part of a strategy Disney has been pursuing for the past few years, systematically closing most, if not all, of its retail stores," a mall statement read. "It is not a reflection of the store's popularity in the Huntington area. The store has been quite popular with many people, and we are sorry that Disney is disappointing its loyal customers in our region. As always, we will continue to work to bring new and attractive retail offerings to our guests here at Huntington Mall."
Still, distraught families came to support the store, hoping to show Disney how valued the store was. However, it is doubtful Disney will change its plan.
"While we are not renewing our lease for this particular store in 2020, we encourage you to visit other locations or shop online at shopDisney.com," read a statement from a Disney representative to a supporter of the store in response to her email. She shared the response on the Save the Disney Store Facebook event page.