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Mar 18, 2020
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J.C. Penney, Skechers and J.Jill become latest US retailers to temporarily close stores due to coronavirus

Published
Mar 18, 2020

Wednesday was another day packed with announcements from U.S.-based retailers looking to do their part to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 by implementing store closures. J.C. Penney, Skechers and J.Jill were among the latest batch.
 

J.C. Penney will be temporarily shutting its stores until April 2 - DR


Buckle


 
Kearney, Nebraska-based Buckle, which currently operates 446 stores in 42 U.S. states, shut all of its retail locations on March 18 and will keep them closed until March 31.

The fashion retailer said that it will continue to provide affected employees with pay and benefits during the temporary closure but warned that the timeline may change in accordance with guidance from the Center or Disease Control and local and national governments.
 

Cato



The Cato Corporation has announced the closure of its Cato, It's Fashion, It's Fashion Metro and Versona stores from March 19 through April 8, temporarily shutting 1,294 retail locations spread across 31 U.S. states.

The retailer did not provide any details about retail employee pay during the temporary closures in its press release. 

Destination XL



The owner of DXL Big + Tall, Casual Male XL, Rochester Clothing, ShoesXL and LivingXL has closed all of its stores until March 28.
 
DXL, the company’s largest brand, currently operates 225 retail and outlet stores, two of which are in Canada, with the remainder spread over major metropolitan markets in the continental United States.
 
Having announced its fourth-quarter and full-year sales in February, the company will report its fiscal 2019 earnings in full on Thursday, March 19.

Gap



Having previously announced reduced hours across its retail network and limited closures of selected stores, Gap will now close all of its stores across North America for two weeks, starting March 19. 

As well as the company's namesake Gap locations, this includes all Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Janie and Jack, and Intermix stores, a total of around 2,650 points of sale. 

The company committed to providing affected employees with pay and benefits for the two-week period.

J.C. Penney


 
The Plano, Texas-based department store operator announced that it is closing all of its 846 stores, as well as its business offices, until April 2.
 
The company said that it will continue to monitor the health crisis and follow guidance from the CDC and health officials in order to adjust its policies as the situation evolves, but did not provide any information on whether or not impacted associates will receive compensation during the period of temporary closures.
 

J.Jill


 
American womenswear retailer J.Jill is closing its more than 280 stores nationwide until March 27 and has promised that affected retail employees will continue to receive pay for their scheduled hours, as well as benefits if applicable.
 
The company has asked other employees to work from home if possible and has introduced staggered work schedules in its distribution and call centers to help with social distancing efforts.
 
The retailer has also withdrawn its previously reported first-quarter and full-year guidance for fiscal 2020 and drawn down $33 million from its revolving credit facility as a precautionary measure.
 

Skechers


 
Iconic Californian footwear company Skechers has followed up the temporary store closures it implemented in other regions severely impacted by Covid-19 and shut its owned retail locations in North America and select European markets until March 28.
 
“We are monitoring our business and the impact of the virus in all countries and will continue to close stores as we feel needed,” commented Skechers COO David Weinberg in a release.
 
Due to the uncertainty caused by the health crisis, the company has also withdrawn the first-quarter guidance that it provided in February, committing to provide further information concerning the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its operations and finances when it reports its final Q1 results.
 
Skechers currently operates over 3,000 namesake stores in 170 countries around the world.
 

Zumiez


 
Zumiez, which operates under the Zumiez, Blue Tomato and Fast Times banners, will close all of its stores in North America starting March 19 and expects them to reopen around April 3, a decision that affects 607 retail locations in the U.S. and 52 in Canada.
 
The company’s 48 Blue Tomato stores in Europe are also currently temporarily closed in line with government directives.
 
Furthermore, Zumiez has withdrawn its previously issued financial guidance for the first quarter and full year 2020.

In its release announcing the store closures, the company did not address the issue of continued pay for retail employees during the period of disruption.
 

Coronavirus store closure round-up


 
This run of announcements is just the latest in a constant stream of reports from U.S.-based retailers choosing to temporarily close their stores in an effort to combat the spread of Covid-19.


Tuesday saw the likes of Macy’s, Ralph Lauren and Tapestry suspend their brick-and-mortar retail operations, while Nordstrom, Guess, and Urban Outfitters were among the cohort of retailers making similar announcements earlier in the week.

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