Shoppers come and go from Nordstrom Inc.'s flagship store in downtown Seattle. Nordstrom, Inc. reports earnings Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017Earns Nordstrom, Seattle, USA - 13 Sep 2017

Nordstrom Inc., in a dramatic action helping to limit the spread of the virus, will temporarily close all of its stores, including Nordstrom full-line department stores, Nordstrom Rack, Trunk Club clubhouses and Jeffrey in the U.S. and Canada for two weeks, effective March 17.

“We’re taking decisive actions across the business to help protect employees, customers and others in the communities we serve,” said Erik Nordstrom, chief executive officer of Nordstrom Inc. “The health and safety of our customers and employees remain our top priority as we continue to make decisions during this rapidly evolving situation.”

Nordstrom’s announcement Monday night follows the Saks Fifth Avenue disclosure a few hours earlier that that retailer’s flagship in Manhattan will temporarily close for up to two weeks.

Nordstrom, like Saks, will provide pay and benefits for its store employees during this period. Nordstrom continues to serve customers through its online business, which made up one-third of sales in 2019. Through its apps and online, the company operates Nordstrom.com, Nordstromrack.com, HauteLook.com and TrunkClub.com – including digital styling, online order pickup and curbside services at its full-line stores.

“During this unprecedented period of uncertainty, we have in place the appropriate business continuity plans, operational framework and team,” said Nordstrom. “This, in concert with ending 2019 with a solid financial position and healthy balance sheet, gives us the ability to weather this challenging moment in time.”

The company issued its fiscal 2020 guidance on March 3, which did not include the impact of COVID-19. Due to heightened uncertainty relating to the impacts of COVID-19 on the company’s business operations, including the duration and impact on overall customer demand, the company is withdrawing its 2020 guidance.

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