When President Trump declared a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus on Friday, many clothing and beauty retailers began announcing temporary closures. The questions came just as fast: How long would this last? Would brick-and-mortar workers still get paid? Would they be able to keep their jobs?
As panic over the pandemic spreads globally, more businesses are facing difficult choices: Close up shop entirely, adhering strictly to social-distancing recommendations; stay open; or something in between.
For the most part, the industry’s strongest retailers — the companies most able to withstand the costs of a temporary shutdown — announced their plans quickly. (Leading the charge outside the fashion industry was Apple, which was one of the first and most influential companies to announce closures; most of its stores outside mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are closed until March 27.)
As of Wednesday morning, only a few national apparel retailers remained open: Kohl’s and JCPenney, for example.
Beginning Thursday, Gap Inc., which has more than 2,600 stores in North America, with brands that include Old Navy, Banana Republic, Intermix and Athleta, will close for two weeks, and will “provide our impacted store employees with pay continuity and benefits.”
H&M announced Tuesday that it will close all of its stores in the United States and Canada until April 2, citing “the unprecedented and ever-changing nature of the situation” and “the need for social distancing.” The closure extends to COS and & Other Stories, brands owned by H&M Group.
Beginning Wednesday, all Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores will be closed through March 31. Employees affected by the closures will still receive compensation and benefits, said the company that owns both.
Just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Gucci announced that it was closing all of its North American locations “effective immediately.” Gucci’s owner, Kering, announced that its other brands will also close for a two-week period in the United States and Canada. That includes Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Brioni. Retail employees will continue getting paid.
Chanel decided on Monday to close its U.S. boutiques for at least two weeks.
According to their websites, LVMH brands have temporarily closed some of their American locations, namely in New York and California: Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy. Prada also appeared to have closed its shops in New York and California.
Saks Fifth Avenue said on Tuesday that it will close its namesake stores and Off 5th locations across the United States and Canada. The company said it expects stores to be closed for two weeks “unless otherwise instructed by government or public health officials.”
As of Tuesday night, Neiman Marcus stores are closed for at least two weeks. The company will provide pay and benefits to store associates, though it plans to “accelerate the roll out of a new selling and styling tool that will facilitate remote selling,” the chief executive, Geoffroy van Raemdonck, said in a statement.
J. Crew and Madewell will close their stores for two weeks after coming under fire on Instagram for remaining open. Both brands will pay their staff during that time.
All Zara stores in the United States are temporarily closed, a spokeswoman said.
As of Wednesday, Tapestry brands — Coach, Kate Spade New York and Stuart Weitzman — will close their stores in North America and Europe through March 27. Employees will continue to receive benefits and scheduled pay. Jide Zeitlin, the chief executive, called these “unprecedented times.”
Direct-to-consumer brands with a strong presence on Instagram and Facebook were quick to announce store closures, beginning with Glossier, the buzzy makeup brand with a handful of locations. It was followed by Allbirds, Everlane, Warby Parker, Outdoor Voices, Away, Rothy’s and Reformation.
Abercrombie & Fitch said it will close its roughly 800 stores outside the Asia-Pacific region. A spokesperson said that associates “will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations.” As of Feb. 1, the chain had roughly 650 stores in the United States.
L Brands has closed Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret and Pink stores in the United States and Canada through March 29. Other American mall staples that are closed include American Eagle, Vineyard Vines, Lands’ End, Fossil and Chico’s.
After previously announcing it would close only some stores and reduce hours at other locations, Ascena Brands said it would close all Ann Taylor, Loft and Lou & Grey stores through March 28, paying workers for their scheduled shifts.
Eileen Fisher will close its stores and pay staff during that time. Tory Burch will also close stores through March 29 and will pay staff for their scheduled hours.
On Tuesday, Alice + Olivia announced that it would close stores. The chief executive, Stacey Bendet, said that “initially, I thought that we could power through this moment” before realizing that “social distancing and a period of separation are essential.”
After first announcing plans to simply restrict store hours, Lululemon said it will close all of its North American stores. The change of heart was explained by Calvin McDonald, the chief executive, on Sunday: “We are living in uncertain times and we’re learning more about this virus every day. We are taking this step to help protect our global community, guests and people, and ensure we are doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Under Armour has closed its 188 North American stores through March 28.
Nike is closing all of its stores in the United States, including its outlets, and will continue to pay staff. Also closed: New Balance (until March 27), Foot Locker (through March 31) and DSW (no reopening date announced). All three committed to paying affected employees.
Nordstrom said on Monday that it planned to close its stores, including Nordstrom Rack and Trunk Club, for two weeks starting on Tuesday. It will provide pay and benefits for store employees during that time. The company reminded customers that a third of its sales last year came from online purchases and that it ended the year “with a solid financial position and healthy balance sheet.”
All 50 Uniqlo stores in the United States will be closed, its Japanese parent company, Fast Retailing, announced. (Most Uniqlo stores in China have reopened, the company added.)
Levi Strauss & Co has closed stores through March 27 and said “all store staff will be paid as scheduled through this time.”
Patagonia was viewed by many as one of the first retailers to act decisively when, on Friday, it said that it would close its 39 stores in North America and give employees their regular pay. “The scale of impact is still unknown, and we want to do our part to protect our community especially while testing availability is unknown,” Rose Marcario, its chief executive, wrote in a statement to customers.
Since Patagonia’s announcement, more outdoor brands have followed suit. Columbia Sportswear and REI are closed through March 27, L.L. Bean through March 29 and Canada Goose through March 31; all have offered varied promises of pay to store employees. (The Canada Goose chief executive said he would forgo his salary for three months.)
Sephora said on Tuesday that it would close its retail stores in the United States and Canada from March 17 through April 3 and pay employees for their scheduled shifts. The company said it is waiving standard shipping fees until its stores reopen.
As of Tuesday, Kiehl’s has closed stores “until further notice,” promising to pay employees “for all hours they have been scheduled to work.” Lush Cosmetics announced it will close all 258 Lush retail stores across Canada and the United States until March 29 and ensure “regular pay for all staff.” Benefit Cosmetics will close its boutiques in the United States and Canada through April 3; employees will receive scheduled pay and benefits.
Ulta Beauty will be closed from March 20 until at least March 31, but customers will still be able to pick up online purchases from most brick-and-mortar stores “as allowed by local and state regulations,” the company said.
Urban Outfitters will temporarily close its stores and pay staff. “Stores will not reopen until at least March 28, and because the situation is complex and evolving rapidly, our plans may change,” the company said on its website. Its sister companies Anthropologie and Free People will also close.
Vans is closing all of its stores in the United States and Canada through April 5. Store associates “will continue to receive full pay and benefits” during the closures, and Vans.com remains open.
Aritzia, which is based in Canada and operates 30 stores in the United States, will be closed “until further notice.”
Supreme said its stores in the United States, Britain and France are temporarily closed.
Ralph Lauren announced Tuesday that it is closing all North American stores from March 18 to April 1. Even before the directive from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to close all restaurants, the company said it would close its hospitality arm in the United States and Europe: the Polo Bar, the favored canteen of the style set, on Madison Avenue; Ralph’s restaurant on Boulevard St.-Germain in Paris; and Ralph’s Coffee in London. “We felt this was especially important given the nature of the dining experience that is at the heart of our restaurants and cafes,” the company wrote in a statement.
PVH, which oversees brands including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, said it will close its stores in North America and Europe from March 17 through March 29. Workers will receive full pay and benefits during this period.
As of Sunday, brick-and-mortar locations of Rent the Runway in three states and Washington, D.C., are closed. Of its online rental business, the company has maintained that “there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted from soft surfaces like fabric or carpet to humans,” adding that its “cleaning agents and practices are designed to kill viruses such as the common cold and flu.”
New York Closures
Fivestory, the independent multibrand boutique on the Upper East Side, is closing “until further notice.” “It is essential that during this time, we restructure our practices and operate with the well-being of our colleagues and fellow citizens,” the store wrote in an email. The website remains open.
Bergdorf Goodman, which is owned by Neiman Marcus, closed Tuesday until further notice.
Dover Street Market is closed through March 27. (So is its Los Angeles location, but not its stores in London, Tokyo, Singapore or Beijing). Comme des Garçons New York has also closed.
On Tuesday, the high-end women’s concept boutique Kirna Zabete closed its SoHo, East Hampton and Bryn Mawr, Pa., locations.
Totokaelo closed its New York and Seattle stores.
Misha Nonoo is closing its meatpacking district store but making store stylists available for “text and video consultations.” The company also said, in a statement, that it would give $50 gift certificates to “clients who are health care workers actively battling the virus.”
La Garçonne’s TriBeCa store has reduced its hours and is offering private appointments.
The luxury boutique Forty Five Ten at Hudson Yards is also closed.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh closed on Monday; so did the four locations of Bird Brooklyn. Mansur Gavriel said it will close ts New York and Los Angeles stores “until it is safe to reopen.”