Whether it’s your local family-owned coffee shop or the Walt Disney Company, no business on Earth has escaped the effects of Coronavirus. And by all accounts, for those in Western countries, it seems things will only get worse before they get better.
One company that is now bracing for further upheaval across all its many business arms is Disney. Just yesterday, the Mouse House (h/t The Hollywood Reporter) outlined the extent of disruption caused by COVID-19.
As THR notes, Disney is seen as particularly vulnerable to the global pandemic, given its film, media networks, and theme park business thrive on original content and social gatherings, both of which have been impacted by the virus. We’ve seen this disruption materialize in the indefinite delay to Black Widow, not to mention The Falcon and the Winter Soldier being asked to halt production until further notice. And we’re barely scratching the surface.
The impact of the novel coronavirus…and measures to prevent its spread are affecting our businesses in several ways. We have closed our theme parks; suspended our cruises and theatrical shows; delayed theatrical distribution of films both domestically and internationally.
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The Coronavirus situation is in a constant state of flux, with new developments emerging every minute – let alone every hour – but Disney also acknowledged that changes in consumer behavior and the cost of borrowing will lead to heavy losses.
Our businesses could also be impacted should the disruptions from COVID-19 lead to changes in consumer behavior. The COVID-19 impact on the capital markets could impact our cost of borrowing. There are certain limitations on our ability to mitigate the adverse financial impact of these items, including the fixed costs of our theme park business.
Some of the measures put in place include the decision to close all of Disney’s North American stores, while it’s understood hotels in both Walt Disney World and Vero Beach Resort will shut their doors today, March 20th. And that’s not all. All theme parks across North America and Paris will be closed until at least the end of the month, at which point Disney will reassess the situation.
Bottom line? Disney, like practically every other company in the world, faces months – if not years – of hardship and difficult decisions. The important thing to remember is that things will get better.