by Stephen Garner

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to take a heavy toll on Macy’s business. All of its stores have been closed since March 18th and the retailer said on Monday that it will remain closed until it has a clear line of sight on when it is safe to reopen.

While the digital business remains open, Macy’s said it has lost the majority of its sales due to store closures. “We’ve already taken measures to maintain financial flexibility, including suspending the dividend, drawing down our line of credit, freezing both hiring and spending, stopping capital spend, reducing receipts, canceling some orders and extending payment terms, and we are evaluating all other financing options,” the company said in a statement.

While these actions have helped, it is not enough. Across Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Bluemercury brands, the company will be moving to the absolute minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations. This means the majority of its staff will go on furlough beginning this week.

Macy’s said that there will be fewer furloughs in its digital business, supporting distribution centers and call centers so it can continue to serve its customers online. At least through May, furloughed colleagues who are enrolled in health benefits will continue to receive coverage with the company covering 100 percent of the premium.

Macy’s said it expects to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes.


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