Update: March 18, 2020 at 12 p.m. ET
Saks Fifth Avenue will close of all its stores in U.S. and Canada effective today. The retailer will be closed for two weeks, “unless otherwise instructed by government or public health officials,” the company posted on Instagram. In addition, all Saks Off Fifth locations will also close. All store employees will be paid for their scheduled hours during this two-week period.
Saks Fifth Avenue announced today that it is temporarily closing its Manhattan flagship store out of safety concerns for staff and customers due to the coronavirus threat. Additionally, the retailer will shut doors at its outpost in Bala Cynwyd in the Philadelphia area.
The pause in operations is expected to last “up to two weeks,” a representative said, adding that all associates will be compensated for their scheduled hours.
“The health and well-being of our associates and customers is always of utmost importance,” an official said in a statement. “In response to the evolving circumstances around COVID-19, we are working to make thoughtful decisions that are right for our associates, customers and business in each of our markets. Given this and the complexities of operating in New York City, we have decided to temporarily close Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York flagship location. We anticipate being closed for up to two weeks, during which time all associates will be paid for their scheduled hours.”
New York City, like many others around the U.S., effective today has implemented a shutdown of many nonessential businesses like restaurants and bars. Health professionals are also encouraging the public to minimize interactions in enclosed spaces with large groups of people.
Saks Fifth Avenue joins other familiar names temporarily closing stores as cities around the world are ramping up containment efforts and adapting social distancing. In fact, Vans earlier today announced that it will close its stores in U.S. and Canada through April 5, with staff being compensated during the hiatus. Steve Madden, Under Armour and other boldface names released statements about their temporary closures.
Internationally, the coronavirus has claimed more than 3,000 lives and infected over 92,000 people. While the majority of the cases have been confined to mainland China, the last two weeks have seen a spike in infections outside of China, with South Korea, Italy and Iran among those hardest hit.
FN reached out to Saks Fifth Avenue for a statement.
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