Ladies apparel retailer Reitmans has decided to temporarily lay off 90% of its retail store employees in Canada amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
Effective as of 29 March, the decision will include employees from all of its five brands, namely Reitmans, Penningtons, Addition Elle, RW&CO. and Thyme Maternity.
Additionally, the move will affect 30% of the company’s Montreal Head Office employees from 30 March.
Reitmans president and CEO Stephen F. Reitman said: “In our 90+ years’ history, we have never had to turn to such drastic measures as those announced today.
“We are very saddened by the situation, but also confident that we are doing the right thing to overcome these times of hardship and position ourselves to bounce back as quickly as possible.
“We are beyond grateful to all our valued employees and thank them for their support and understanding. As always, their safety and their family’s wellbeing are paramount, and we will continue to follow guidance from federal, provincial and local public health authorities.”
On 17 March, the company temporarily shut all of its 587 stores as part of its efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, as well as protect and preserve the health and safety of its employees and customers.
As of now, Reitmans operates its online business while its Distribution Centre in Montréal is operational with strict cleaning protocols and social distancing measures in place.
The company will closely follow the evolution of the outbreak and conform with the guidelines of the municipal, provincial and federal governments.
The number of infected patients due to coronavirus has climbed to 532,564 globally while the death toll has reached 24,077.