Rivers, Sportscraft, Forever New latest retailers to shut
Forever New, Sportscraft, Saba and JAG are the latest retailers to announce they are shutting their bricks and mortar store doors.
Forever New reached out to its customer base this morning to let them know doors are closed from today, while APG&CO released a statement revealing it had "taken decisive action and temporarily closed all stores in its portfolio", including Saba, Sportscraft and JAG.
It comes after Rivers, Katies, Noni B and Millers announced they will shut their store doors from Thursday, putting almost 6800 employees temporarily out of work.
In an announcement to the Australian Stocks Exchange Mosaic Brands, which also owns Rockmans, W. Lane, Beme, Crossroads and Autograph, says to trade even under the government's "social distancing" recommendations goes against the company's customer service philosophy.
"The health and wellbeing of the groups customer's, teams and broader community are paramount," the statement says.
"The Group's personal service mandate, which it prides itself on, conflicts with the government's "social distancing" recommendations. Given this, the Group has decided to suspend all store operations temporarily with effect from Thursday 26 March."
It is the first national brand to reveal it will close its retail operations and trade solely online during the coronavirus crisis. though many more are expected to follow this afternoon.
All team members affected by the store closures will be stood down with access to leave entitlements while the Group reviews government support schemes that may be available to them.
"The Group will continue to communicate regularly with the team and will offer other forms of support through this difficult time and period of uncertainty, including access to its Employee Assistance Program."
"The Group has recently seen a significant drop in store traffic and revenue, a direct result of the community's response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the government's "social distancing" recommendations. The Group is working with its business partners and is reviewing its cost of doing business, with a view to reducing costs to match expected revenue."
"Mosaic's online operations will continue through this period and customers will be able to purchase from all the Group's nine brand websites."
It comes as Virgin Australia announced it will stand down 8000 workers.
More pain is set to come with Crown Resorts - Victoria's largest single-site employer - yet to decide what actions it will take with its staff after its operations were shut.
Across the country, Star Entertainment has stood down more than 8000 workers.
Star, which operates casinos in Sydney and Brisbane, will stand down 90 per cent of its 9000 strong workforce.
Star chief executive Matt Bekier said the business was confronting an unprecedented situation.
"We have incredible people at The Star and huge potential. We are also confronting, like the rest of society, an unprecedented challenge in the
COVID-19 situation," he said.