Several US retailers, including J.C. Penney, Skechers, and J.Jill, have joined the growing list of companies temporarily closing their stores in response to the coronavirus outbreak. These closures are part of a broader trend among retailers as they take proactive measures to slow down the spread of the virus.

J.C. Penney has announced that it will close its stores until April 2, while Skechers will shut its owned retail locations in North America and select European markets until March 28. J.Jill is closing its more than 280 stores nationwide until March 27. These retailers have emphasized their commitment to providing pay and benefits for affected employees during the temporary closures.

Other retailers that have recently announced store closures include Buckle, Cato Corporation, and Destination XL. Buckle has shut its 446 stores across the US until March 31. Cato Corporation has closed its Cato, It’s Fashion, It’s Fashion Metro, and Versona stores from March 19 to April 8. Destination XL, the owner of several brands, has closed all of its stores until March 28.

Well-known retailer Gap has also decided to close all of its stores across North America for two weeks, starting March 19. This closure affects around 2,650 points of sale, including Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Janie and Jack, and Intermix stores. Gap has assured its affected employees that they will receive pay and benefits during the closure.

The decision to temporarily close stores aligns with the advice from governments and health officials urging citizens to practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings. By implementing these closures, retailers are actively contributing to the global effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Retailers are closely monitoring updates from health organizations and governments, and adjusting their policies accordingly. Many are offering remote work options to employees and implementing measures such as staggered work schedules to ensure social distancing in distribution and call centers.

The financial impact of these store closures is substantial, with many retailers withdrawing their previously issued financial guidance for the first quarter and full year 2020. The full extent of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the retail industry is yet to be determined, but companies are prepared to provide further information once they have a clearer understanding of the situation.

In conclusion, the temporary closure of stores by US retailers is a proactive response to the global coronavirus outbreak. These companies are prioritizing the health and safety of their employees and customers, while also contributing to efforts to slow down the spread of the virus. As the situation continues to evolve, retailers are committed to monitoring updates and adjusting their policies accordingly. Although the financial impact is significant, retailers are prepared to navigate these challenges and provide further information as the situation unfolds.

For more information on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the retail industry, you can visit the following links:

1. Reuters Article
2. CNBC Article