At Home is the latest retailer taking several actions to manage its business and preserve the company’s financial position in response to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lee Bird, chairman and CEO, At Home, stated, “In the face of ongoing uncertainty related to COVID-19, we have taken a series of escalating measures to reduce our operating costs in the near term and further enhance our financial flexibility. We have also made the heartbreaking decision to furlough a portion of our home office, store and distribution center team members. These temporary leaves of absence are effective Saturday, April 11, and all furloughed team members will be paid through that date. This decision has not been taken lightly and, while difficult, we believe it will best position At Home to weather this disruption and emerge stronger on the other side.”
In addition to closing the substantial majority of its stores to customer traffic, instead offering curbside pickup and next-day local delivery, the company has significantly reduced scheduled hours for store and distribution center associates to align with demand; eliminated approximately 10% of home office roles, primarily related to new store development and openings; implemented temporary furloughs of approximately 30% of home office associates; and temporarily reduced compensation for the remaining home office associates, including the executive team, by 10% to 30% depending on salary grade. Bird has elected to forgo 100% of his salary for the duration of the furlough.
At Home has also implemented a hiring freeze and deferred promotions and merit compensation adjustments for existing employees; deferred compensation for the board of directors; pursued the relevant provisions of the CARES Act to help the near-term liquidity profile; and continued to partner with product partners, vendors and landlords, to preserve liquidity.
The company previously said it had suspended all new store openings and remodeling projects and eliminated all discretionary capital spend except as it relates to omnichannel initiatives. These efforts could reduce annual capital expenditures by over $200 million compared to fiscal 2020 if At Home does not resume new store investment for the remainder of fiscal 2021, the company said.