COVID-19 Store Update: Temporary store closures mount

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COVID-19 Store Update: Temporary store closures mount

By Marianne Wilson - 03/17/2020
store closed sign

With COVID-19 continuing to spread throughout the U.S., the nation’s retail chains are working to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Retailers’ response differs by category. With demand surging, many grocers, including Walmart, have cut their store hours to allow employees time to replenish shelves and thoroughly clean stores. Some, including Dollar General, have introduced shopping hours dedicated to senior customers, a group most at risk for Covid-19. 

Many specialty retailers have temporary closed their stores, stressing that their online operations remain up and open for business. Digitally native retailers such as Warby Parker, All Birds and Everlane have also temporarily shuttered their physical stores. 

Fast-food and fast-casual restaurants, including Starbucks, Taco Bell, Dunkin’ and McDonalds, have temporarily closed their seating areas (and, where applicable, self-service beverage bars and kiosks) and shifted to a drive-through, take-out and/or mobile order mobile.

Across all sectors, however, a common theme is emerging. More and more retailers are withdrawing the guidance they previously issued for their current fiscal year. The statement below, from Ulta Beauty, reflects the trend.

“Due to the fast-moving nature of this situation and the uncertainty of impacts on costs and revenue, the company is withdrawing guidance previously issued for fiscal 2020. The company is not providing an updated outlook at this time.”

The list below, which will be updated on a regular basis, details retailers’ temporary store closings. It does not include supermarkets and other stores that sell groceries, such as Walmart, Target or Dollar General, all of which remain open, some with reduced hours. It also does not include restaurants. Finally, while not a complete list, it provides a snapshot of the current scenario unfolding across the nation’s retail industry.  

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.: Closed all stores across its brands in North America and in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) until March 28. Its locations in the APAC (Asia Pacific) region will remain open.

American Eagle Outfitters: All American Eagle and Aerie stores in the United States and Canada closed until at least March 27.

All store associates will be compensated for scheduled time during that period. EO is also taking the following steps to support its associates: working from home; staggered work schedules for in-office requirements to facilitate social distancing; and implementing enhanced sanitization and deep cleaning of operated facilities.

Through the AEO Foundation, the company has established a Relief Fund to provide additional assistance to associates affected by COVID-19.

Chico's FAS Inc.: All stores closed across North America for the next two weeks. (Chico's brands include the namesake, White House | Black Market and Soma.) Workers across both companies will be paid during the closure and those that can work from home will.  

Foot Locker Inc.: All stores across North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) and Malaysia closed through March 31. Stores in Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia will remain open as directed by local governments. Store associates will continue to receive their wages during this time. 

Guess?: All stores in the United States and Canada closed through March 27. The closures follow similar temporary closures of Guess-operated stores that are currently in place in a number of countries in Europe. In Asia, where store closures related to COVID-19 began, most of the Guess-operated stores have reopened. 

All retail associates at these locations will continue to receive full pay and benefits for their scheduled shifts during this temporary closure.

J. Crew: All J. Crew and J. Crew Factory stores closed until March 28. Store associates will be paid during this period.

L Brands Inc.: All Victoria's Secret, Pink and Bath & Body Works stores in the U.S. and Canada from closed through March 29 due to the coronavirus pandemic. All employees will continue to receive pay during the closures and those who can work from home will do so.

Macy’s: All stores closed through March 31, including all Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bluemercury, Macy’s Backstage, Bloomingdales the Outlet and Market by Macy’s stores. Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury will continue to serve customers online. 

Macy’s will provide benefits and compensation to its impacted workforce.

Nordstrom: All Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Trunk Club clubhouses and Jeffrey in the U.S. and Canada closed for two weeks, effective March 17. The company will provide pay and benefits to its workers during this time.

Patagonia: All stores and other operations, including online, closed, with an update on March 27. The company is closing offices and encouraging employees to work from home. All employees will receive regular pay during the closure.

PVH Corp.: Company, whose brands include Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Izod, closed all its company-operated retail stores in North American and Europe through March 29. Store employees will receive full pay and benefits for their scheduled shifts. 

PVH also said its company offices will remain open, but with all but a "minimal number" of employees working remotely in North America and Europe. 

Ralph Lauren Corp.: All stores across North America closed from March 18 through April 1. A number of stores in Europe and Asia are already closed due to the pandemic.

Sephora: All stores in the U.S. and Canada until April 3. Store associates will continue to receive their base pay for scheduled shifts, in addition to benefits.

Tailored Brands: All retail locations in the U.S. and Canada through March 28. Store employees will be paid for scheduled hours during this time period.

Tapestry: All directly-operated Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman stores in North America and Europe to closed through March 27, “at which time the company will determine the appropriate next steps in light of the environment.”

Employees at these locations will continue to receive scheduled pay and benefits during this temporary closure period.

Ulta Beauty: All stores closed starting on March 19 until at least March 31. Most stores will continue to be outlets for buy-online-and pick-up in store as allowed by local and state regulations.

Ulta will continue to pay its store and salon associates and provide benefits for those who are currently enrolled during this period. 

VF Corp.: Parent company of The North Face, Timberland and Cans shuttered all its company-owned stores through April 5. VF Corp. has already taken the same measures in all of Europe, and has stores operating with reduced hours in the U.K. The company had taken similar steps in mainland China, where 90% of its stores have reopened with traffic slowly returning to normal levels. 

Workers will continue to receive all pay and benefits during this time. Corporate and brand offices are also closed for the period, with staff working from home.

Williams-Sonoma Inc.: All stores in the U.S. and Canada through April 2. Online order pickup at curbside and ship from store, remain, as local regulations allow.