Tapestry, the Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman parent company will keep its doors closed for another two weeks.
The firm, which temporarily closed stores in North America and Europe earlier this month to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, said Thursday that stores will remain closed until April 10. Retail locations in the region were originally set to reopen on March 27. Now, the fashion house said it will reevaluate the situation every two weeks.
“In this period of unprecedented volatility, we are focused on our stakeholders, including our employees and stockholders,” Jide Zeitlin, chairman and chief executive officer of Tapestry, said in a statement. “We are taking immediate steps to support our employees and local communities. In addition, out of an abundance of caution, we have acted to augment our strong liquidity and reinforce our financial flexibility. We have an 80-year history of successfully navigating external crises. Our three brands are powerful and resonate deeply with consumers globally. This, along with the resilience of our teams, underscores our confidence in the future.”
Zeitlin went on to say that all employees will continue to receive pay during this time. The brands’ e-commerce sites remain open with enhanced safety measures for employees working in distribution centers.
Meanwhile, like many other retailers, Tapestry is freeing up some of its cash reserves. The company is drawing down $700 million of its $900 million revolving credit facility to add to its cash balance. It is also suspending its quarterly cash dividend, starting in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, and suspended its share repurchase program.
Zeitlin has previously said Tapestry, which acquired Kate Spade in 2017, will not pursue acquisitions for the time being. Instead, the company will review its operating expenses while reducing capital expenditures.
As of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 54,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the U.S. In response, Tapestry said it will donate 15,000 face masks to hospitals in the U.S., the U.K. and Spain. More masks are expected to be delivered next month as well.
In addition, the retailer has also agreed to donate money to various charities to fight the spread of the coronavirus. That includes an employee match program, up to $10,000 per employee, each time an employee in North America makes a contribution to a qualifying charity. The Coach Foundation will make additional contributions.
In January, shortly after the coronavirus was first detected, the fashion company temporarily closed stores across all three brands in China and other nearby countries in Asia. As of mid-March, almost all stores in the region have reopened, some with shortened hours.