As the coronavirus continues to be a drag on retail, Stage Stores Inc. is furloughing the majority of its employees.
The Houston-based retailer said that it would place “virtually all” of its employees across stores, field support roles and distribution centers on unpaid leave until further notice. Eighty associates “who perform essential functions” have not been put on furlough. While on furlough, employees will continue to receive health and welfare benefits. Additionally, members of the executive leadership team will see their pay slashed by at least 25%, with the cuts remaining in effect for a yet to be announced period.
Stage Stores operates 738 units across several banners, including Gordmans, which it acquired out of bankruptcy in 2017, as well as Bealls, Goody’s and the Stage name. The retailer has previously announced plans to transition its entire fleet to the Gordmans nameplate as it reinvents itself through the off-price model.
“With the health and safety of our associates and guests as our top priority, we are taking difficult but necessary actions in a challenging market and in the face of the unprecedented COVID-19 situation,” said CEO Michael Glazer in a release. “We are grateful to all of our associates for their dedication and commitment to serving our guests.”
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The coronavirus is the latest in a series of challenges for Stage Stores. In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company had hired outside consultants to aid in financial restructuring, adding that it would likely file for Chapter 11 protection. A Retail Dive report from February said that the retailer had slashed more than 20 corporate staffers and slated upwards of 70 stores for closure. With shares currently trading at 40 cents, the company is at risk of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
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