Macy’s sends home workers

The storefront of Macy’s at The Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Florida. (Photo: The Mall at Millenia)

Macy’s, the company that owns Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury indicated on Monday (March 30) that it will be sending home most of its personnel because of stores which have been shuttered.

The New York Times reported mid-morning that the company indicates all will stay home until “safer” conditions are in place.

Macy’s had 130,000 part-time and full-time employees as of Sunday, February 2. Its digital business is doing better than brick and mortar stores which have been forced to close.

Macy’s also indicated in a release that it has stopped, for the time being, dividend payments and capital spending. Some orders have been cancelled and credit restrictions applied.

The company said that fewer of the workers in the digital business have been sent home. This includes distribution centres supported by call centres.

The company is still offering health benefits to all workers and says it will eventually bring them back on a staggered basis.

The sharp economic contraction caused by the spreading coronavirus epidemic is causing demand to fall as buyers stay at home.

Macy’s outlines on its website “ The COVID-19 outbreak continues to take a heavy toll on Macy’s, Inc. business. Our top priority is the health and safety of our customers, colleagues and communities during this unprecedented crisis. All of our stores have been closed since March 18th and will remain closed until we have clear line of sight on when it is safe to reopen.”

It added, “While the digital business remains open, we have lost the majority of our sales due to the store closures. We’ve already taken measures to maintain financial flexibility, including suspending the dividend, drawing down our line of credit, freezing both hiring and spending, stopping capital spend, reducing receipts, cancelling some orders and extending payment terms, and we are evaluating all other financing options.”

The company noted, “While these actions have helped, it is not enough. Across Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Bluemercury brands, we will be moving to the absolute minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations.”