Myer to close stores, temporarily shed 10,000 employees
Mar 30, 2020
Australia’s Myer Holdings said on Friday it will shut all its stores for four weeks and temporarily shed 10,000 employees, as the spread of coronavirus leaves much of the country confined to their homes.
After more than 3,000 cases of coronavirus and 13 deaths in Australia, the country has urged its 25 million citizens to stay at home, leaving many shops deserted.
As a result, Myer said its stores will close from March 29 until April 27, although its online business will remain open.
“The decision to temporarily close all Myer stores and stand down so many loyal and dedicated team members is one of the toughest decisions this company has faced in its 120 years of operation,” Myer CEO John King said in an emailed statement.
Myer said the 10,000 employees will not be paid during the four-week closure, although some of its workforce will be able to access annual leave payments.
Myer joins a growing list of Australian businesses dismissing employees as the coronavirus outbreak halts the economy.
The economic fallout of the crisis was visible on the streets this week as thousands of Australians lined up outside government offices in Sydney and Melbourne to register for social security payments.
Listed companies in Australia and New Zealand have laid off or are considering laying off at least 106,955 people, temporarily or permanently.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the immense health and economic challenges of the global pandemic would be the “toughest year of our lives” and warned Australians to prepare for shutdowns that could last six months.
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