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Macy's closed all of its stores on March 18 to help combat the spread of COVID-19

By Eric Todisco
March 31, 2020 10:53 AM
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Macy’s is furloughing the majority of its 125,000 employees due to the company’s economic setback from the coronavirus global pandemic.

In a statement Monday, Macy’s, which also owns Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, said the pandemic has “taken a heavy toll” on the company.

Despite its digital business still being open, Macy’s said they’ve lost the majority of sales since the company closed its stores on March 18.

To try and conserve their finances, the company said they’ve already suspended its dividend, drawn down a line of credit, frozen hiring and spending, stopped capital spend, reduced receipts, canceled some orders and extended payment terms.

“While these actions have helped, it is not enough,” the statement said. “Across Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury brands, we will be moving to the absolute minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations.”

Macy’s said there will be “fewer furloughs” in their digital business, supporting distribution centers and call centers so they can continue to make sales online.

Through at least May, furloughed employees who are enrolled in the company’s health benefits will continue to receive insurance, covering 100 percent of the premium, Macy’s said.

“We expect to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes,” the company concluded its statement.

Macy's store downtown on November 21, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois
Credit: Scott Olson/Getty

According to Macy’s website, the company had roughly 130,000 employees and 775 stores as of its latest reported quarter.

Retail stores like Zara, Nordstrom and H&M have also temporarily shut down its doors to help stop the spread of COVID-19. All of their online stores remain open.

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H&M said in a statement earlier this month that it would close all stores in the U.S. and Canada until April 2. The company also said it would still support colleagues who are impacted by the closure by providing two weeks of continued pay.

Nordstrom also said they would continue to pay employees during the two-week closure period and provide “additional resources to help them through this challenging time.”

Beauty favorites, including Sephora and Ulta have also closed its retail locations. Ulta shut its doors through “at least” March 31, while Sephora will remain closed until April 3.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.