CHICAGO (CBS) — Nearly two weeks after closing all of its department stores, Macy’s will begin furloughing most of its employees, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the retail industry.
All Macy’s stores have been closed since March 17. At the time, Macy’s said all of its stores would stay closed through the end of March and that those on staff would still receive paychecks and benefits. Now, however, the company said stores “will remain closed until we have clear line of sight on when it is safe to reopen.”
“While the digital business remains open, we have lost the majority of our sales due to the store closures,” the company said in a statement announcing the furloughs Monday morning.
Macy’s employs around 125,000 workers. The company said the majority of their staff will go on furlough beginning this week; with fewer furloughs among its digital operations, distribution centers, and call centers so it can continue online sales.
It’s unclear how many of those furloughs are in the Chicago area.
Furloughed workers enrolled in health coverage will continue to receive their benefits at least through May, and Macy’s will cover 100% of their premiums.
“We expect to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes,” the company said.
Macy’s has about 775 stores nationwide, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury. Macy’s has 16 stores in the Chicago area, Bloomingdale’s has 6, and Bluemercury has 10.