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J.Crew Is Giving Employees the Day Off and Closing All Its Stores on Election Day

J.Crew Group Inc. is closing up shop on Election Day.

The fashion company — parent to its namesake brand and its sister, Madewell — announced today its support for the Time to Vote movement, a nonpartisan initiative led by executive chiefs around the country whose goal is to increase voter participation.

As part of the move, it will shut down all of its stores and corporate offices, as well as its distribution center and customer service hub for the full day on Nov. 3., allowing its entire workforce to head to the polls on the day of the 2020 presidential election in the United States.

In addition to giving employees the day off, J.Crew has launched an internal “educational effort” to provide resources to workers on how to register to vote, plus where to find their polling sites and where to seek information about candidates on the ballot across all parties.

“Civic engagement is more important than ever, and we are committed to ensuring that our employees have the ability to participate in the upcoming election,” CEO Jan Singer said in a statement. “Our decision to join the Time to Vote movement is a wholly nonpartisan decision and made as an effort to create actionable change at our organization, in our community and beyond.”

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Today, the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic coupled with the growing social justice movement could inspire higher participation rates, but ongoing fears over the COVID-19 outbreak — which has sickened 5.11 million people in the U.S. and led to at least 164,100 deaths — might keep some voters home.

More than 600 companies are now involved in Time to Vote, including athletic chain Nike and denim giant Levi’s. (The movement launched ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and swiftly gained support from hundreds of businesses.) Beyond the initiative, companies like Steve Madden and Birkenstock have announced plans to close their corporate offices on Election Day, while Coach entered into a partnership with NBA star LeBron James’ “More Than A Vote” organization aimed at combating voter suppression in the Black community.

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