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US clothing and accessory retailer Vineyard Vines is closing retail stores and outlets from 16 to 27 March as part of its efforts to protect communities against the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The closures are also aimed at limiting the spread of the virus.

Vineyard Vines co-founders and brothers Shep and Ian Murray said: “The safety and wellness of our team, customers and community is our #1 priority. Given the current state of Covid-19, we have decided to close all stores and encourage you all to take the precautionary measures recommended by the CDC and WHO.

“This unprecedented time leaves us incredibly thankful for the support of our team, loyal customers and communities. Together, we have shared so many Every Day Should Feel This Good moments and, in times like this, we know that the strength and character of our communities will see us through.”

The retailer noted that it will continue to pay store employees for the previously scheduled shifts during this time.

Vineyard Vines office employees, whose jobs allow them to work remotely, will work from their home until further notice.

The retailer will also continue to serve customers through its website.

Founded in 1998, Vineyard Vines offers a variety of clothing and accessories for men, women and children.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 cases worldwide have crossed 169,300. 6,500 coronavirus deaths have been reported globally as of 15 March.

In the US, the death toll has risen to 69 while the total number of cases stands at 3,774.