NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – Disney is drastically reducing the number of its brick-and-mortar Disney Store locations in the United States and Canada before the end of the year.

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.

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“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.”

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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 its theme park stores, third-party retailers and within its shop-in-shops. In 2019, Target opened mini-Disney stores in 25 of its locations.

Disney, which didn’t release a list of stores that will close, has about 300 locations worldwide. It had nearly 800 locations globally at its peak in 1999.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBSDFW.com Staff