Macy’s To Furlough Almost 130,000 Employees Due To COVID-19

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NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — American department store Macy’s Inc. said it would furlough most of its employees starting this week as all stores of the department chain operator stay closed due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The company, which has about 130,000 employees, earlier this month shut its more than 800 stores, suspended quarterly dividend and withdrew its 2020 forecasts. It has also drawn down all its available credit and frozen hiring and spending to offset the impact of the pandemic on sales.

Retailers such as Nordstrom and Gap Inc have also moved to cut costs in an attempt to cope with the financial strain and uncertainty caused by the outbreak.

We’ve already taken measures to maintain financial flexibility … While these actions have helped, it is not enough,” Macy’s said in a statement.

Worldwide lockdowns to prevent the spread of the outbreak have hammered sales for the retailer as most of its physical stores remain closed, despite the online business staying up and running.

Macy’s said it would maintain the “absolute minimum” workforce needed to maintain basic operations across its Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Bluemercury brands.

At least through May, furloughed employees enrolled in health benefits will continue to receive coverage, with the company covering the premium amount. Employees at a director-level who are not furloughed will receive a pay cut.

The retailer added there would be fewer furloughs in its digital business, which is still operational, supporting distribution centres and call centres.

Macy’s said it planned to keep its stores shut and bring back employees on a staggered basis only once business resumes.

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of For all general inquiries please email Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.

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