Business

Disney to lay off 32,000 as pandemic hits theme parks business

Disney - Appy Pie

Disney plans to lay off around 32,000 employees, mainly in its theme parks business, the company has announced in a filing. The company says that it’s making these dismissals due to the current COVID-19 impacts. It’s an increase of 4,000 in comparison to the 28,000 layoffs that the company initially announced back in September.

The filing says due to the current business climate and COVD-19 impacts, the employment of 32,000 people will be terminated in the first half of Disney’s 2021 fiscal year, which began in early October.

Disney this year reported its first loss in four decades after closures and social distancing measures led to a sharp fall in revenue from its parks.

Other than the layoffs, Disney said it’s considering additional measures like reducing its investments in film and TV content, halting capital spending.

Its theme park troubles led to forced delays for several of its tent-pole cinematic releases, leading to Disney posting a rare quarterly loss this year. In August the company reported a loss of USD 4.72 billion for the quarter. It followed with a further loss of USD 710 million the following quarter.

The announcement came in as Disney sees a difficult business year. The theme parks in particular have been hit hard by the pandemic. Despite the fact that Florida Disney World theme park was able to reopen earlier this year with restrictions like needing to wear face masks when not eating, it’s still unclear when the California Park will reopen. Disney’s two theme parks in California remain closed amid coronavirus closures in the area.

Its venues in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Hong Kong have all reopened, although with social distancing measures in place. Disneyland Paris was forced to close again last month after France imposed a fresh lockdown to halt the second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Despite the challenges to its theme park business, the company’s earnings have been helped by the launch of Disney Plus streaming service, which had 73.7 million subscribers as of early October this year. Now the company also has further plans to launch another streaming service outside the US next year under its Star brand.

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