Retailers extend store closures as coronavirus cases skyrocket in US

Many retail giants say that store closures will last many more weeks, and possibly indefinitely till the spread of the virus gets contained

Retailers across the US are extending store closures as coronavirus cases continue to multiply in the country. Friday was the time many retailers had set two weeks ago for temporary closure of stores to last. However, it now seems that closures will continue for a longer period as the number of coronavirus cases has been on the rise over the past week.

So much so that some of the most iconic American stores that temporarily shut stores for roughly two weeks are now saying that closures will last for many more weeks, and possibly indefinitely, till the spread of coronavirus is contained. US has already crossed China and reported 104,837 positive cases of coronavirus with 1,711 deaths.

Retailers brace for tougher times

Shop closed
Closed store (representational image) Pixabay

Retailers had initially thought that the temporary closure owing to the coronavirus outbreak would last for a couple of weeks ending Friday. However, that won't be happening anytime soon. Many of these retailers had set March end at the date for the temporary closures as they felt that could sustain for the next two weeks to pay their workers for the two-week time. Moreover they had also paid the rent for March to their landlords by then.

The situation now has taken an ugly turn with hundreds of people testing positive for coronavirus across US in the past few days. This has now compelled many big brands to not only extend their closures well into mid April but also in some case indefinitely. A few stores like Nordstrom have extended their closure for at least one week till April 5.

Big brands suffer

Empty shop
Empty shop (representational image) Pixabay

Some of the big brands are not giving any definite restart dates. Nike and Lululemon, which reported their quarterly results this week, have all their stores closed across US for indefinite period and plan to open it only on a location-to-location basis as the situation improves and following the government guidelines. Earlier this week, Nordstrom said that it will be extending its store closes in the US and Canada till at least April 5. Tailored Brands said that it would not be lifting the shutters of its stores until at least May 4, owing to the coronavirus outbreak.

L Brands, parent company of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, said on Friday that its isn't any a position to give a specific timing for reopening its stores. Also all stores of Apple, Guess, Urban Outfitters and Express remain closed "until further notice", following coronavirus outbreak spreading o Europe and the US.

The coronavirus outbreak is not only making stores pull down shutters but is going to start hurting the workers. Although many retailers have been trying to sustain things and are trying to pay the wages of the employees amid the coronavirus outbreak, it now might become difficult for them to do so in the long run.

Related topics : Coronavirus