Coronavirus forces Lands’ End to furlough 70% of corporate employees

Freda A. Nix

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American clothing and home décor retailer Lands’ End has furloughed around 70 percent of its corporate employees due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dodgeville, Wisconsin-based retailer, known for its polo shirts, jeans and outerwear, has temporarily laid off around 1,000 employees, said Todd Novak, the mayor of Dodgeville.

The company announced March 15 it would shutter 26 of its retail locations around the country through March 29 due to the virus. However, the closures have now been extended.

The Lands’ End distribution center is still open, and workers are getting a temporary pay increase, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

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The retailer joins a number of businesses that have furloughed or permanently laid off hundreds of thousands of retail workers across the country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. TJX Companies, which owns TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods and employs more than 280,000 workers globally, said it would furlough the majority of the store and distribution workers.

JCPenney also announced a significant amount of its store workers and corporate employees would be furloughed and will continue to receive full health benefits, while Macy’s announced in March that the majority of its staff would be furloughed during the health crisis.

CORONAVIRUS FORCES JC PENNY TO EXTEND CLOSURES, FURLOUGH WORKERS 

“At Lands’ End, the safety and health of all our employees is our first priority and we are taking steps to minimize risk through work-at-home policies, as well as practicing social distancing and enhanced sanitation in our facilities,” CEO and President Jerome Griffith said in a statement.

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“Given the uncertainty related to the severity and duration of COVID-19, we have also taken proactive steps to reduce costs, carefully manage inventory, and preserve liquidity.”

The clothing company will continue to fund health insurance premiums for staffers furloughed through May 1, Griffith said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

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