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Ross Stores furloughs most of store, DC employees; CEO, chairman defer salaries

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Ross Stores is taking additional steps to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The off-pricer extended its store closings and, to further enhance liquidity, will temporarily furlough the majority of its store and distribution center employees, as well as some other associates across the business, starting on Sunday, April 5.

All furloughed employees will remain Ross associates with no change to their health benefits. In addition, Ross will pay the employee portion of premiums for the furloughed employees who currently receive health benefits through the company. 

In addition, Ross CEO Barbara Rentler and chairman Michael Balmuth will receive no salaries during this time and the company’s senior executive team will take “substantial” cuts, with other employees taking smaller, tiered salary reductions. Ross said its outside board members have agreed to forgo their cash retainer. 

“Our objective with these actions today is to strengthen our ability to navigate through the challenges and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic for communities and businesses across the country,” said Rentler. “Our stores remain closed to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus and as we prioritize the health of our associates and our customers. The goal is to safely reopen our stores as soon as we are able and return to our mission of providing great bargains for our customers.”

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