Macy's department stores will all close temporarily by the end of business hours Tuesday in response to the widespread coronavirus outbreak, the company announced earlier in the day. This is just the latest of major retailers to announce its temporary closure as health officials urge people to stay in their homes and away from other people to prevent the virus' spread.
"The health and safety of our customers, colleagues and communities is our utmost priority. As a result of the recent COVID-19 developments, we have decided to temporarily close our stores," Jeff Gennette, Macy's Inc. chairman and CEO, said in a news release. "We will work with government and health officials to assess when we will reopen our stores and safely bring our colleagues back to work. During this closure, we will continue to serve our customers through our e-commerce sites." Macy's Inc., which also covers Bloomingdale's and Bluemercury beauty stores, counted 775 stores as of its fourth quarter, according to USA Today. As for the employees of these stores, the company vowed to "provide benefits and compensation to its impacted workforce."
The global coronavirus pandemic, as of Monday afternoon, had infected 4,226 people and resulted in the deaths of 75, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As many large areas such as San Francisco and New York enter into various stages ordered "shelter in place" orders, many businesses have announced they were closing their doors for the time being, while other department stores like Kohl's and J.C. Penney have announced reduced store hours.
Nordstrom also announced that its stores including, Nordstrom Rack locations, would close for two weeks starting Tuesday. The company says it operates says it operates 380 stores including 116 full-line stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and 248 Nordstrom Rack stores.
"The health and safety of our customers and employees remain our top priority as we continue to make decisions during this rapidly evolving situation," said Erik Nordstrom, chief executive officer, Nordstrom, Inc., in a news release. "We're taking decisive actions across the business to help protect employees, customers and others in the communities we serve."
"During this unprecedented period of uncertainty, we have in place the appropriate business continuity plans, operational framework and team," added Nordstrom of the company's financial projections. "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."
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