The retail industry is shutting down en masse in response to COVID-19.
Hudson’s Bay Co. and the Neiman Marcus Group have decided to temporarily close all of their stores, joining the rapidly increasing list of retailers responding to the coronavirus pandemic through closures this week.
“As this COVID-19 pandemic continues to accelerate throughout the U.S., we have made the decision to temporarily close all Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Last Call stores, effective tonight,” said Neiman Marcus Group chief executive officer Geoffroy Van Raemdonck on Tuesday evening. “These stores will remain closed for the next two weeks, with the potential to be extended pending future evaluation of the situation. We will provide pay and benefits to store associates affected by store closures for this two-week period.”
Hudson’s Bay said that all of its Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th and Hudson’s Bay stores in the U.S. and Canada will shut down temporarily, effective Wednesday, March 18. The company expects the stores to remain closed for two weeks, unless otherwise instructed by government or public health officials, and will reassess operations at that time. All associates will be paid for their scheduled hours during the two-week period. “As the situation evolves, we will continue to evaluate all pay and benefits,” the company said. Earlier this week, Saks made the decision to close its flagship in Manhattan temporarily.
In the last several days, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s decided to close all of its store temporarily, as did several specialty chains including Foot Locker, Abercrombie, H&M, J. Crew, Madewell and others.
“The well-being of our associates and customers is always of utmost importance, and we are committed to making thoughtful decisions to support our communities and our business,” said Marc Metrick, president, Saks Fifth Avenue.
The NMG and HBC executives underscored that all dot-com operations will continue to conduct business, and that the health of associates and shoppers were their primary concern.
“The health and well-being of our associates, customers and communities is our top priority, and remains at the forefront as we make decisions in this rapidly evolving situation” said Iain Nairn, president, Hudson’s Bay. “This is the right thing to do as we all work together to stay healthy and limit the spread of the virus. We are working through local and curbside pickup solutions for customers who have placed buy online, pick up in store orders, as well as those who have ordered major home fashions, and remain committed to getting our customers their orders as quickly as possible.”
“While our stores are temporarily closed, we will be digitally serving our customers,” Van Raemdonck said. “All our associates are accessible via mobile, text, the Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman apps, and our web sites.”