Stores are shutting across Australia as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the retail industry. Picture: Instagram/Sportsgirl
Stores are shutting across Australia as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the retail industry. Picture: Instagram/Sportsgirl

Big name shops closing doors as social distancing bites

Outdoor chain Kathmandu has become the latest major retailer to shut its doors in response to the sharp decline of business as a result of strict social distancing measures, standing down 2000 staff across its Australian and New Zealand operations without pay.

The company will also close 118 Rip Curl outlets which it acquired last year, joining the dozens of big name stores announcing closures as the coronavirus bears down on the industry.

The group released a statement to the Australian securities exchange saying it is aiming to close all stores by 5pm this afternoon and its senior executive team will take a 20 per cent pay cut.

Retail Food Group - the owners of popular chains Gloria Jean's Coffees, Brumby's Bakeries, Donut King, and Michel's Patisserie - said it will stand down or cut the hours of its workforce.

"In order to safeguard as many jobs as possible over the longer term, and to better preserve and protect the sustainability of its franchise network, the company is implementing a reduction in the total working hours across the group, in consultation with its personnel, by either standing down, or reducing the working hours of, the majority of RFG's team members," the company said in a statement.

"Those team members most impacted by this measure will be assisted where possible through this difficult period."

Many companies across Australia have said they will remain closed for at least four weeks, while others won't reopen until it is deemed safe to do so. But several online stores are continuing to operate as normal, with deliveries unaffected and some return periods extended.

On Thursday, Premier Investments Limited - which owns the Just Group, whose brands include Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Portmans, Jacqui E and Dotti - announced it was closing all stores "until further notice", with online shops also affected.

Accent group - which owns the popular Platypus, Hype and Athlete's Foot shoe brands - will also close 522 stores for four weeks from Friday, affecting more than 5000 workers.

Sussan Group brands, including Sussan, Sportsgirl and Suzanne Grae, have also closed temporarily for at least four weeks. joined by Saba, Gorman and Alannah Hill.

Accent Group, which owns Athlete’s Foot, is closing 522 stores. Picture: Mark Wilson
Accent Group, which owns Athlete’s Foot, is closing 522 stores. Picture: Mark Wilson

 

Here's what other big brands have said:

CUE AND VERONICA MAINE

All Cue and Veronica Maine stores will temporarily close, along with their shops in Myer and David Jones, from close of business on Friday.

"Our top priority at this moment is the safety and wellbeing of our dedicated team and you, our loyal customers, along with our responsibility to the greater community at large," it said in an email to customers.

"We have made the decision because it's the responsible thing to do. We will reopen when we know it is safe to do so and we look forward to seeing you again once this heartbreaking health crisis has passed."

Online stores will, however, remain open.

 

SEED

All Seed stores have been closed until further notice, although customers can continue to shop the brand in Myer and David Jones.

"From everyone at Seed, we look forward to welcoming you back when stores re-open. Let's continue to move forward together with kindness, empathy and a sense of community," it said in an email to customers.

 

WITTNER

All Wittner shoe stores have now closed "until further notice", but the brand's online store remains open and its return period has been extended.

 

GLASSONS

All Glassons stores across Australia are now closed.

In an email to customers, the brand said stores would not be reopening until it was safe to do so.

"We will continue to trade as normal online," it said, adding that there would be a 14-day grace period when stores eventually reopened for anyone unable to return items.

 

AESOP

All Aesop stores and counters will shut from close of business on Friday, but their online store remains open.

 

BUNNINGS

Bunnings hardware stores are remaining open, with a few important changes to their trading hours.

From Monday, stores will open exclusively for trade customers and emergency services personnel before 9am on weekdays.

For everyone else, stores will open from 9am and close two hours earlier at 7pm to allow staff to restock shelves and conduct a thorough clean. Weekend hours will remain the same.

In-store cafes will, however, shut from close of business on Friday, and all sausage sizzles have been suspended.

"We also want customers to be aware there may be some delays in our busier stores as we try to ensure we are doing everything we can to ensure social distancing measures. This could be anything from less check-outs in operation, to limiting customer numbers in store," it said in an email to customers.

Bunnings is remaining open with some changes to its trading hours. Picture: Supplied
Bunnings is remaining open with some changes to its trading hours. Picture: Supplied

 

DAVID JONES

David Jones stores are still open, but customers have been advised to check the website for any updates to trading hours before visiting.

"We have taken extra steps to ensure our stores are clean, hygienic environments for everyone including increasing the frequency of cleaning and providing hand sanitiser in all stores," a statement on its website says.

All in-store beauty treatments have been suspended until further notice.

 

MYER

All Myer stores are still open for business, but they are no longer accepting cash and all skin-to-skin beauty services and lingerie, suit and shoe fittings have been cancelled.

It has also extended its returns policy beyond 30 days.

"Our dedicated and experienced team are closely monitoring the latest advice from the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation and reviewing our approach as the situation continues to evolve," it said in a statement on its website.

Originally published as Big name retailers closing their doors



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