Havertys reopening its stores; slashes headcount

Marianne Wilson
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Havertys is planning to resume operations within a week and reduce its workforce.

The furniture retailer expects to reopen 108 of its 120 stores on May 1 and the remaining locations by mid-May. It also will begin resuming its distribution and delivery operations. (Havertys closed its stores on March 19, and halted deliveries on March 21.)

In addition, Havertys announced it is reducing its workforce of 3,495 by approximately 1,200 employees. 

The retailer said it plans a phased approach as it restarts its business with limited staffing and shorter hours, adjusting as the pace of business dictates.  The company will follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and will implement enhanced cleaning measures, social distancing, and the utilization of face masks across its operations for the safety of employees, customers and communities.

On April 1, the retailer extended its store closures and furloughed 3,033 team members or approximately 87% of its workforce and paid the cost of enrolled health benefits of those individuals.  Given “the dramatic shock from the pandemic and uncertainty of the ongoing impact,” Havertys on Monday announced the following actions:

•    Reducing its workforce of 3,495 by approximately 1,200 team members.

•    Extending the furlough and payment of health benefits for another 30 days for approximately 730 team members. Those furloughed, as a percentage of the remaining workforce by category, are approximately: 44% of retail, 7% of warehouse and delivery, and 26% of corporate functions. The recall of these employees will depend upon the level of Havertys’ business.

These steps follow the previously announced salary and hours reductions and other measures of Havertys’ business continuity plan, aligning the company’s operating cost structure to business conditions and preserving liquidity.

“We are navigating through uncharted waters of a health and economic disaster,” said Havertys president and CEO Clarence H. Smith. “The announcement today concerning our former team members comes after a long, extremely difficult, and painful decision-making process. The unknown duration for reaching a return to ‘normal’ requires taking proactive, aggressive actions to sufficiently scale our operations to enable Havertys to endure and recover when conditions improve. This week, with a heavy heart, we will begin the first step towards our new ‘normal’ with the reopening of our stores and renewed commitment to providing Havertys’ renowned excellent customer service."

Havertys operates 120 stores in 16 states in the Southern and Midwestern regions.