David’s Bridal, Guess?, Christopher & Banks furloughing employees, cutting expenses

More retailers are furloughing employees and taking other measures to shore up liquidity as they extend store closings amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

Below are business updates from David's Bridal, Guess? and Christopher & Banks. 

David’s Bridal
The nation’s largest wedding-gown retailer emphasized that it continues to guarantee on-time delivery of all orders to meet customer event dates. David's Bridal's e-commerce activities will continue to operate normally, and the company said it has more than 300,000 dresses in stock in the U.S ready to ship immediately, and its distribution and fulfillment operations remain open.

Due to the uncertainty in the length of these closures and the timing of our ability to re-open our stores, David's Bridal will be:
•    Executing a substantial reduction in expenses, capital expenditures and inventory commitments; 
•    Significantly reducing the salaries of the executive management team and board of directors as well as reducing the salaries of senior corporate and field employees; and
•    Implementing a furlough program that will affect the vast majority of store employees and over 50% of the corporate workforce.

The apparel and accessories retailer is furloughing all of its U.S. and Canada store associates starting April 2, 2020. Store associates will receive pay for time scheduled from the beginning of the store closures through April 1 and the company will fund health insurance premiums during the furlough for all eligible associates impacted by these measures.

Guess is also furloughing approximately 50% of its U.S. and Canada corporate associates, and most of the associates at its distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada, starting April 2, 2020. 

The company will fund health insurance premiums during the furlough for all eligible store employees as well as corporate and distribution center associates.

In other measures, Guess is:
• Implementing temporary tiered salary reductions for all management-level corporate employees in the U.S., ranging from 15% at lower levels to 70% for CEO Carlos Alberini and chief creative officer Paul Marciano;
•    Deferring annual merit increases;
•    Executing substantial reductions in expenses, store occupancy costs, capital expenditures and overall costs, including through reduced inventory purchases.

Christopher & Banks Corp.
The company announced it is taking “proactive measures to conserve capital during this period of disruption” including:
•    Implementation of furloughs for all store associates and over 60% of the remainder of its workforce. The employees on furlough will continue to receive employee benefits, including medical, dental, and vision benefits at this time;
•    Temporary base salary reductions for corporate employees and management beginning with 20% and up to 50% for the CEO. The board has also agreed to a substantial reduction in retainer fees aligned with management;
•    Suspension of approximately $3 million in planned capital expenditures; and 
•    Significant reduction in operating expenses

Customers may continue to shop through Christopher & Bank’ e-commerce website. The company’s distribution center is running at limited capacity and in adherence with workplace safety, including social distancing and sanitation practices.

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