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|Products||Food and Beverage (Chocolate and Coffee)|
Godiva Chocolatier (pronounced "goh DIVE uh" in the U.S. or "guh DEE vah in Belgium) is a chocolate maker which is a subsidiary of Turkish conglomerate Y?ld?z Holding.
Founded in 1926, and purchased by the Turkish Y?ld?z Holding in November 2007. Godiva owns and operates more than 600 shops in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia and is available via over 10,000 speciality retailers.
Godiva was founded in 1926 in Brussels, Belgium, by the Draps family who opened their first shop in the Grand Place in Brussels under its present name, in honour of the legend of Lady Godiva. The first shop outside Belgium was opened in Paris on the Rue Saint Honoré in 1958. In 1966, the company's products reached the United States, where they were sold at shopping centers. The following year, it was purchased by the Campbell Soup Company. In 1972, the first Godiva shop in North America was opened on New York City's Fifth Avenue.
By 2007, Godiva had annual sales of approximately $500 million. In August of that year, Campbell Soup Company announced it was "exploring strategic alternatives, including possible divestiture, for its Godiva Chocolatier business"; the company said the "premium chocolate business does not fit with Campbell's strategic focus on simple meals".
In December 2007, Campbell announced that it entered into an agreement to sell Godiva to Y?ld?z Holding based in Istanbul, Turkey, which is the owner of Ülker group and the largest consumer goods manufacturer in Turkey. The acquisition was completed in March 2008, for $850 million.
Godiva continues to own and operate more than 450 shops worldwide. The company issues six seasonal mail-order catalogs a year in the US and also accepts online and telephone orders for their products. Godiva chocolate is also sold in local malls and mini shops.
Godiva opened (May 2012) Café Godiva in London's Harrods department store. The 40-plus table venue features Godiva's chocolate beverages, pastries, and chocolates. The company also has a store in the Harrods Food Hall.
Godiva is a participating member of the World Cocoa Foundation and Cocoa Horizons Foundation. The company is a partner of Save the Children, and began The Lady Godiva Program which partnered with FEED Projects in its first year.
In 2016, Godiva celebrated its 90th anniversary and opened its 100th store in China. In 2017, the business opened its first store in Australia, inaugurated its Pierre Draps Chocolate Research & Development Centre in Brussels, and opened its North America flagship store in Rockefeller Center. In 2018, Godiva opened its first café in Brussels, the birthplace of the brand.
In February 2018, Godiva took out a full-page ad in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun financial newspaper, suggesting the retirement of the giri choco practice. In Japan, as part of the giri choco practice, women are expected to buy chocolate for their colleagues, friends, bosses and sometimes family members on Valentine's Day. The public's reaction to the ad was generally seen as favorable.
Godiva has been involved in the controversy over chocolate manufactures use of child labor in the production of chocolate.
In 2016, Godiva had approximately 650 retail stores throughout the world. Godiva's global presence increased rapidly, especially in countries like China and Japan.
Lawyers of the company have sent a series of letters warning the Lady Godiva public house in Geneva, Switzerland, that they are infringing upon their intellectual property with the latest asking them to cease and desist from using the name. Pru Porretta, MBE, who was behind the revival of Dame Goodyver's Daye in Coventry, England, where a procession through the city's streets includes her representing Lady Godiva riding a horse commented "I think it's very sad. Godiva was a great woman who challenged her husband to stop the terrible things that were happening to the people. I'm sure Lady Godiva wouldn't care for a company which seems to be taking something that wasn't theirs originally and wants to use it for themselves and nobody else. It's about our rich heritage. I would say it's morally wrong".
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