The COVID-19 outbreak continues to take a heavy toll on Macy’s business, and the retailer now plans to furlough the majority of its workforce.
“Our top priority is the health and safety of our customers, colleagues and communities during this unprecedented crisis. All of our stores have been closed since March 18th and will remain closed until we have clear line of sight on when it is safe to reopen,” the company stated.
While the digital business remains open, the department store retailer said it has lost the majority of its sales due to the store closures. The company has already taken measures to maintain financial flexibility, including suspending the dividend, drawing down a line of credit, freezing both hiring and spending, stopping capital spend, reducing receipts, cancelling some orders and extending payment terms, and evaluating all other financing options.
However, across the Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury brands, the company said it will be moving to the absolute minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations. This means the majority of workers will go on furlough beginning this week. There will be fewer furloughs in the digital business, supporting distribution centers and call centers so they can continue to serve customers online.
At least through May, furloughed colleagues who are enrolled in health benefits will continue to receive coverage with the company covering 100% of the premium. Macy’s expects to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes.