Tapestry, Inc. to Lay Off 2,100 Part-Time Workers, Plans to Furlough More
Tapestry, Inc. announced plans to lay off 2,100 part-time store associates across its Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman brands, effective April 25, reports Footwear News. Each employee will receive a one-time payment of $1,000. The holdings company also said that it would extend salary and benefits to its retail team across North America until May 30, at which time it said it would be forced to furlough the majority of its store managers and associates if stores remain closed.
Tapestry Chairman and CEO Jide Zeitlin will be taking home half of his salary, while the company's board of directors will also see their cash compensation reduced by 50 percent. Depending on income levels, all of Tapestry’s corporate employees in North America above a certain salary threshold will see pay cuts of 5 percent to 20 percent. No bonuses will be paid for the current fiscal year. Tapestry said it will provide an update on the operational and financial impacts of the pandemic on its business during its third-quarter conference call scheduled for April 30.
Total Retail's Take: The uncertainty regarding the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic has burdened every retailer with financial hardships. As most retailers scramble to maintain their bottom lines, all levels of employees are taking a hit, including C-suite executives. It's great to see Tapestry taking steps to support part-time associates who will be hardest hit in the layoffs by providing a $1,000 payment. This helps ease newly unemployed associates' financial concerns while also ensure a positive brand image for Tapestry.
However, not every retailer is faced with furloughs and tanking profits. Retail giants that sell essential items such as Amazon.com and Walmart continue to announce hiring bursts, and categories like home improvement and gardening have been given a boost as consumers look for things to do around the house. And more and more retailers are getting innovative in the e-commerce space, as well as finding ways to remain a physical resource for shoppers and give back to communities in need. As the weeks progress, retailers that find a way to remain relevant and strike the right tone with consumers will have a better chance of surviving the coronavirus health crisis.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Women in Retail Leadership Circle and sister brand Total Retail. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for both brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment recording interviews with retailers.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.