Covid-19: Several US retailers provide updates amid pandemic

1 April 2020 (Last Updated April 1st, 2020 15:28)

Several US-based retailers have provided updates on their business operations as the country tackles the highest number of coronavirus (Covid-19) infected patients recorded globally.

Covid-19: Several US retailers provide updates amid pandemic
Major US retailers extend store closures as the coronavirus continues to spread. Credit: Mike Mozart.

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Several US-based retailers have provided updates on their business operations as the country tackles the highest number of coronavirus (Covid-19) infected patients recorded globally.

Apparel and home retailer JC Penney, premium lifestyle companies Ralph Lauren and Guess, and speciality homeware retailer Williams-Sonoma have all extended the temporary closure of their stores, business offices and fulfilment centres.

Both JC Penney and Guess have decided to temporarily furlough store and corporate associates, starting 2 April.

The majority of associates at JC Penney’s Home Office, Salt Lake City, and Soho design offices will be furloughed from 5 April. It has also decided to continue to keep open its eCommerce distribution centres and customer care.

Guess is making temporary tiered salary reductions for all management-level corporate employees in the US, drawn down around $212m, and postponed potential quarterly cash dividend among others.

Ralph Lauren has sanitised and implemented enhanced health and safety protocols at its North American and European distribution centres.

It reopened its distribution centre on 1 April and will resume normal shipping of digital and select wholesale orders.

The retailer has drawn $475m from its Global Credit Facility, decided to decrease or delay capital expenditures, stop incremental share repurchases and more.

Meanwhile, Williams-Sonoma’s associates are continuing to work from home.

The company will pay its corporate employees and has reassigned those people who are not able to work from home or have previously handled retail jobs.

Meanwhile, the company’s online business remains open and distribution centre associates are supporting the business.

Coronavirus confirmed cases have reached 802,726 globally while the death toll of the outbreak stands at 39,051.