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Coronavirus causing fashion retailers to shut stores

By Danielle Wightman-Stone



A number of fashion and sportswear retailers, including Nike, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Lululemon, have announced temporary store closures in light of the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Over the weekend, fashion and lifestyle retailer Anthropologie sent out an e-mail to its customers saying that it would be closing all of its global stores until at least March 28.

“As all of our thoughts are on the COVID-19 situation, we wanted to share an update on how Anthropologie and our partner brands Terrain and BHLDN are responding. The safety and health of our community, including our loyal customers and dedicated associates, is always of the utmost importance to us.

“As far as we know, none of our employees have tested positive for Covid-19. In an effort to protect our communities, we have decided to close all of our global stores. They will not reopen until at least March 28. We will continue to pay our store teams during this time. Because the situation is complex and evolving rapidly, our plans may change. If they do, we’ll let you know.”

Anthropologie, continued: “While we’ll miss seeing you in our stores, our website and app are always open (please allow us to provide a break from the news). We hope to bring you a touch of joy and inspiration in this difficult time.

“Look out for one another, and be well. We’ll see you soon.”

Urban Outfitters shuts stores globally

Urban Outfitters took to their Instagram to announce their store closures, stating that its global network would be “closed until further notice”.

"We’re proud to call ourselves a part of your local community, and our goal has always been to provide you with safe spaces to come together, laugh and be inspired,” explained Urban Outfitters in their Instagram caption. “While we work through these changes, know that we’re here to answer questions, keep you entertained, and to continue to engage with our UO Community however we can. Take care of yourselves.”

Lululemon confirms closures in North America and Europe

Sportswear brand Lululemon has confirmed the closure of all its stores in North America and Europe, from March 16 through March 27.

Lululemon chief executive officer, Calvin McDonald, said in a statement: “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.

“During this time, Lululemon employees will continue to receive pay for all hours they have been scheduled to work and have access to Lululemon’s Global Pay Relief plan.”

Retailers Nike, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Lululemon among store closures to limit the spread of coronavirus

Eco-friendly footwear brand Allbirds took to its Instagram to explain that all of its stores in the US and Europe would be closed until March 27 and that its corporate staff would now be working from home. They added that all employees would receive full pay and benefits during this time.

The update from Allbirds co-founders Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown said: “To our friends around the world, our thoughts are with you and your families during these uncertain times. Now more than ever, we can all appreciate just how small the world truly is, and the importance of coming together to protect out global community in times of need.

“Our online stores around the world are still open for business as usual, and we’re working closely with our suppliers to ensure their safety while we also fulfil your orders.”

3.1 Phillip Lim closes stores in New York, Los Angeles, London and Waikiki

Designer brand 3.1 Phillip Lim, also confirmed on Instagram that it would be closing its retail locations in New York, Los Angeles, London and Waikiki, and that its store teams would be available via email to help customers with their orders or purchases.

“It is essential that during this time, we restructure our practices and operate in accordance with the wellbeing of our colleagues and our global citizens,” said the company. “As we adjust to the new and challenging practice of social-distancing, we maintain our larger and constant mission of fostering community. We are taking all necessary precautions to assuage the potential spread of the coronavirus while continuing to act with love, empathy, and connectivity top of mind.”

Land’s End closes US stores until March 29

While Land’s End has stated that it will close all of its retail stores in the US until March 29, adding that it will continue to pay all of its retail employees for the hours they have been scheduled to work.

Land’s End said in a statement: “For the safety of our employees and customers, we have restricted international and domestic travel, instituted flexible work plans, including working remotely where available to encourage social distancing in our offices.”

Reformation to be available only on the “corona-immune” internet

Sustainable fashion brand Reformation said it didn’t want to “add to the stress” of Coronavirus and would be closing all of its stores “for now” and that all of its retail teams would be given paid time off. It also added that it was cancelling all events and factory tours.

In the Instagram post, the retailer said: “As it is a complicated situation, these plans might change, and if so we’ll let you know. We are closely monitoring what’s going on, and will follow recommendations from the WHO, CDC and NHS.

“As always, we’re available on the Corona-immune Internet.”

But the fashion brand also asked its customers what was “appropriate” content for it to be sharing, asking “what’s resonating with you? Do you still want to hear about new collection launches and sustainability related stuff? Old do you need a break? Please let us know.”

Sportswear giant Nike closes stores in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe

Nike announced on Sunday that it will temporarily close all of its stores in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe, from Monday, March 16 through March 27 “to limit” the spread of the coronavirus. Nike-owned stores in South Korea, Japan, most of China are currently open and will continue their normal operations it added.

Additionally, the sportswear giant has announced additional steps in other Nike-managed facilities, including the option to work from home, staggered work schedules, social distancing and additional safety and cleaning steps to “help protect and support our teammates”.

For more updates on how the coronavirus is impacting the international fashion industry here >>

Image: courtesy of Anthropologie