Store closures mount as coronavirus spreads

by Brian Lipton
Getty Images

More than two dozen national and local fashion-based retailers have chosen to shut down their stores or curtail their hours in the wake of Coronavirus. Such measures are hoping to help decrease the spread of COVID-19, which has already sickened more than 3,700 people in the U.S. and led to deaths of nearly 70 people, according to recently released statistics.

Among the ever-growing list of companies that are shutting many or all of their store doors – for at least two weeks – are Land’s End; Nike; Abercrombie & Fitch; Hollister; Lululemon; Patagonia; Kith; Buck Mason; Vuori; Everlane; REI; Allbirds; Columbia Sportswear; Under Armour; Levi Strauss & Co; New Balance; Opening Ceremony; and Warby Parker.

In addition, VF Corp has closed its Vans and Timberland stores; while Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People, all of which are owned by parent company URBN, have also closed their U.S. shops.

GAP Inc announced this morning that it will close about 100 stores – but did not release specific locations – as well as reduce store hours for all of its brands (which include Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta). Most of the stores will operate from 11am to either 6pm, 7pm or 8pm, with Sunday hours, as usual, shorter for all locations.

Mega-retailer Walmart has already cut store hours at many of its locations; stores that normally remain open 24 hours will be open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice, while other locations (many that usually stay open until midnight) will also have reduced hours.

However, most if not all companies are continuing with their e-commerce business, so consumers can continue to make online purchases. In addition, the majority of these companies have put out statements saying they are planning to pay employees as usual during these closures or to work out other arrangements.