Retail

Nordstrom, L Brands Temporarily Shutter Brick-And-Mortar Locations

Nordstrom

Nordstrom Inc. is shuttering its brick-and-mortar retail locations for two weeks in the United States and Canada, with the inclusion of Nordstrom Rack stores, to restrict the proliferation of the coronavirus, the company said in an announcement. Nordstrom will provide store employees with pay as well as benefits over that time. The company will still serve customers via its websites and apps.

Nordstrom, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Erik Nordstrom said in the announcement, “The health and safety of our customers and employees remain our top priority as we continue to make decisions during this rapidly evolving situation. We’re taking decisive actions across the business to help protect employees, customers and others in the communities we serve.”

The retailer also said it is withdrawing its guidance for 2020 because of “heightened uncertainty relating to the impacts of COVID-19 on the Company’s business operations.” It had announced its fiscal 2020 guidance earlier on March 3 that did not include the coronavirus impact.

Nordstrom, Inc. noted that sales last month were “in-line with expectations,” but it had a “broad-based deceleration in customer demand” during the last few weeks — especially in markets that saw the greatest impacts from the coronavirus.

L Brands, Inc., in another case, will temporarily shutter all of its Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and PINK stores domestically and in Canada from March 17 until March 29, according to an announcement from the company.

At the same time, the retail brand’s home office associates have been asked to telecommute from their residences if they can. L Brands Inc. said in the announcement that all staff will keep receiving pay as well as benefits over the time of the temporary closures.

The company also said in the announcement, “These decisions will be re-evaluated as new information becomes available regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition, the company said it is withdrawing its earnings guidance issued on February 26 for the first quarter 2020. L Brands Inc. noted in the announcement that it “is not providing an updated outlook at this time.”

And Apple announced over the weekend that it would shutter its retail locations beyond Greater China until a date at the end of March. The tech company now notes on its website that the closings would be in place “until further notice.”

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