Following the announcement of major department stores furloughing a large portion of its staff this week, more brands are feeling the heat as it remains unclear when stores can reopen.
Baltimore-based Under Armour said on Friday that it will keep its stores closed until further notice and effective April 12th, the company will temporarily lay off the teammates that work in its U.S. Brand (full price) and Factory House (outlet) stores, and approximately 600 teammates that work at its U.S.-based distribution centers. Additionally, the company will begin paying premium bonuses to its distribution center teammates continuing to work during the crisis. The company will have provided up to four weeks of full pay for these retail store and distribution center teammates since this crisis started.
The brand’s Board of Directors will be reducing its compensation by 25 percent and all of the company’s executive vice presidents and above will be taking a 25 percent salary cut through the duration of the crisis. The company will cover full health benefits for benefit-eligible teammates for approximately two months during this temporary layoff period.
The same goes for American Eagle Outfitters. The mall-based retailer said on Thursday that it will implement temporary furloughs of store, field, and corporate associates beginning April 5th, largely reflecting the continued uncertainty around the duration of store closures. Reductions to operating expense, which include delayed merit increases for associates, a hiring freeze and other cost saving initiatives are also being taken, as well as cuts to inventory receipts to align with lower demand due to store closures.
Understanding the COVID-19 pandemic may continue for the foreseeable future, Lululemon said on Thursday that its stores in North America, Europe, Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand will also remain closed until they can safely reopen. But, the company has made the decision to continue pay protection for its employees through June 1st, whether stores reopen or remain closed.
For the next three months, Lululemon’s senior leadership team will reduce their salaries by 20 percent, and the Board of Directors will forgo their cash retainer. These funds will go towards the newly-established We Stand Together Fund to help Lululemon employees facing COVID-19 related hardships at this time.