TJMaxx, Marshalls and Home Goods are the latest retailers closing during the coronavirus pandemic. TJX Companies CEO Ernie Herrman said the stores will be closed for at least two weeks in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. The company is also closing down its websites and staffers will work from home when they can. All store, distribution and office employees will be paid for two weeks.
"Our hearts are with people around the world who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak," Herrman's statement Thursday reads. "TJX has made the decision to do our part to help prevent the further spread of this virus by temporarily closing all stores globally as of today for the next two weeks in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. The Company is also temporarily closing its online businesses tjmaxx.com, marshalls.com and sierra.com during this time, as well as its distribution and fulfillment centers and offices, with Associates working remotely when they can."
"This pandemic has affected everyone's lives, including those of our Associates and customers," Herrman continued. "We are concerned for the health and financial well-being of our Associates, and we plan to pay our store, distribution and office Associates for two weeks during these closures. We thank our customers for shopping our stores and e-commerce sites and look forward to serving you again in the near future. We are honored to be part of your lives and wish you good health, now and in the future."
Since the coronavirus pandemic has only gotten more widespread in the U.S. this week, more and more retailers are making immediate changes. Supermarkets have changed their hours to give employees more time to clean stores and restock, while other retailers have completely shut down. For example, Walmart changed its hours to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.for 24-hour stores, while Apple and Urban Outfitters have closed their stores completely.
Some retailers have remained open, even though they do not provide critical needs for consumers. Supermarkets have to stay open so customers can buy food and household supplies, but some believe others should close to limit the opportunities to spread the virus.
"The more people interact with other people, the more the opportunity to spread," Dr. John Swartzberg, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, told USA Today. "Stores are a perfect place for viruses to transmit, especially when they are crowded."
"We have a very short window to prevent this crisis from turning into a catastrophe," Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health expert at George Washington University, added. "So, it is the responsibility of every person to do their part to not do anything that's not essential."
On Wednesday, Home Depot said it would be closing stores at 6 p.m., beginning Thursday, to give staff time to restock shelves.0comments
"As an essential retailer to the communities it serves, The Home Depot is committed to keeping stores open just as it always does during times of crisis and natural disaster," the retailer said.
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