Department store Macy’s will be forced to furlough most of its employees this week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to close hundreds of stores across the U.S., according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
On Monday (March 30), the company told its around 130,000 department store workers that it would keep paying health benefits through at least May. Some workers will stay on to continue working in eCommerce, call centers and distribution divisions, as Macy’s continues to sell online. All of the company’s stores have been closed since March 18.
SeaWorld Entertainment and The Cheesecake Factory have also been forced to furlough their employees as they attempt to save cash during the closures. SeaWorld is furloughing about 90 percent of its workforce; The Cheesecake Factory has closed 27 locations and has furloughed 41,000 hourly workers.
Amusement park company Six Flags announced that it would reduce workers’ pay and hours by 25 percent, and that its parks would not be open until at least the middle of May. Executive pay will also be docked by 25 percent.
The company that owns Men’s Wearhouse said it would have to furlough all of its employees as well as a large number of workers in its distribution departments. Hotel chains like Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt have furloughed tens of thousands of employees.
The moves by companies to try and weather this difficult period will definitely grow the ranks of the unemployed, a number that is already at a record high of 3.28 million, with many more expected to file this week. It also illustrates the limitations of the $2 trillion stimulus package that was passed by the government last week.