Macy's made the announcement on Monday, March 30, about two weeks after all its stores closed on Wednesday, March 18 due to the outbreak.
"While the digital business remains open, we have lost the majority of our sales due to the store closures," Macy's said in a statement.
Macy's said it's 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, canceling some orders and extending payment terms.
"While these actions have helped, it is not enough," Macy's said. "Across Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Bluemercury brands, we will be moving to the absolute minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations.
"This means the majority of our colleagues will go on furlough beginning this week."
Macy's said there will be fewer furloughs in its digital business, supporting distribution centers and call centers so we can continue to serve our customers online.
"At least through May, furloughed colleagues who are enrolled in health benefits will continue to receive coverage with the company covering 100 percent of the premium," the company said. "We expect to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes."
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