Macy’s said on Monday that it will stop paying tens of thousands of employees who were put of work when the chain closed its stores in response to collapsing sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The majority of its 130,000, including stock people and sales clerks, will still collect health benefits but the company said that it is transitioning to an “absolute minimum workforce” needed to maintain basic operations. Macy’s has lost the bulk of its sales due to the temporarily closing of its stores starting March 18.
The move is a dramatic sign that big name retailers are seeing their sales plummeting, and that the $2 trillion rescue package passed by Congress last week may come too late to help out retailers. Nordstrom said last week it was furloughing a portion of its corporate staff.
More than 190,000 stores, including J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus, have temporarily closed, accounting for nearly 50% of the U.S. retail square footage Macy’s said those who are enrolled in health benefits will continue to receive coverage with the company covering 100% of the premium. “We expect to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes,” the company said.
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