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US companies take steps to tackle COVID-19 pandemic

Mar '20
Pic: Colombia Sportswear
Pic: Colombia Sportswear
Several US retailers and apparel companies have taken a slew of actions to face the situation arising out of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The steps include reducing store hours, closing select stores, encouraging customers to shop online, implementing ‘work from home’ options, staff travel restrictions and enhanced continued pay for employees.

Gap Inc. recently announced temporary reduction of store hours for all its stores across the United States and Canada beginning March 16. The company will close select stores based on guidance from government officials and health authorities, as well as other location-based factors like public transportation.

It has also implemented enhanced continued pay policies to further support both its full and part time employees in light of the situation. Columbia Sportswear Company closed its North America brick and mortar retail stores on March 16. It expects these stores to be closed till March 27. It has urged consumers to visit the respective brand e-commerce sites.

Other steps taken by the company include store closures in select markets outside North America, enhanced cleaning protocols in all locations, implementation of ‘work from home’ plans to reduce health risks and travel restrictions.

Another company lululemon announced the closure of all stores in North America and Europe, from March 16 till March 27. Consumers can shop on its website. The company will provide an update regarding the impacts of COVID-19 during its fourth quarter fiscal 2019 earnings call, to be held on March 26.

Levi Strauss & Co. temporarily closed its owned and operated retail locations in the United States and Canada starting March 16. It expects these stores to remain closed till March 27. Store employees will be paid for all scheduled hours during the closure. These temporary closures do not affect the company’s online operations.

The company will provide a more detailed update during its fiscal first quarter 2020 earnings call scheduled on April 7.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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