Many retailers are closing their doors or reducing their open hours across the U.S. in an effort to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. While the closures may help stop the spread of the virus, they will also hamper the already-stressed retail industry. Here's a list of major retailers that are closing stores (more are being announced hourly):
- Abercrombie & Fitch will close all of its stores outside of the Asia-Pacific region between March 15 and March 28. It has about 850 stores worldwide, per CNBC.
- Apple announced it will close all of its retail stores worldwide except for greater China until March 27. CEO Tim Cook said hourly workers will continue to receive pay while stores are closed.
- Columbia Sportswear Company announced on March 16 that is was closing its brick-and-mortar retail stores in North America, and expects these stores to remain closed until March 27. It has also closed stores in various markets outside North America.
- Glossier announced on March 12 that it will close all current permanent and temporary retail locations (New York, Los Angeles, London, and Atlanta) for at least the next two weeks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. It also delayed the opening of Glossier Arizona, which was scheduled to open later this month.
- Nike said Sunday that all of its stores in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand will close from Monday through March 27, CNBC reports. A spokesperson said all workers will still be paid while the stores are closed.
- Patagonia closed all of its stores, offices and other operations on March 13. Rose Marcario, Patagonia's CEO and president, said employees will receive their regular pay during the closure.
- Urban Outfitters, which operates 600 stores under various brands including Anthropologie and Free People, said last week that it closed temporarily until at least March 28, but will continue to pay its workers.
- Walmart said last week that it's closing its 24-hour locations overnight to restock products and clean the stores. Stores that were open 24 hours will now operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., according to USA Today.
Total Retail's Take: While many retailers are shutting their doors, several others, including Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Gap Inc.'s Banana Republic sent notices to shoppers on Thursday saying they were open for business in a move to stem losses due to a steep drop in traffic. Retailers are also asking state and city governments to reach out to retail leaders before issuing decisions to close or curtail retail business operations. In a letter sent to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, chairman of the National Governors Association, and Rochester Hills, Mich. Mayor Bryan Barnett, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the National Retail Federation (NRF) asked elected officials to communicate and coordinate with retailers to provide certainty and clarity before making decisions on whether to close or curtail retail business operations.
“This is an unprecedented situation that demands an ‘all hands on deck’ approach, and community retailers are eager to do their part,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “Whatever the challenge, retailers have prepared in advance to serve the critical needs of their customers and employees. They can quickly and thoughtfully adjust a wide variety of practices, including supply chains, stores, and policies impacting communities they serve.”
Advance notice and consultation with retail leaders can avoid causing disruption from consumers overwhelming stores and exhausting available supplies quickly. It will also enable retailers to prepare their supply chains to handle customer needs both before and after recommended, or even mandatory, store closing orders by government officials, the letter said.