A massive surge of COVID-19 cases is dealing retailers a new blow in terms of staffing shortages.
Lululemon, Nike, Starbucks and Macy’s have all implemented new shortened hours in some locations in the last few weeks, as retailers struggle to keep stores staffed during the pandemic.
Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said on Monday that limiting staffing and capacity constraints from Omicron impacted recent results for the company. He added that the company had implemented “reduced operating hours in certain locations,” which has also impacted results. Lululemon now expects net revenue to be on the lower end of its range of $2.125 billion to $2.165 billion for Q4 of fiscal year 2021. Shares of Lululemon fell over 4.5% on Monday following the announcement.
At Nike, certain stores are operating with different hours. According to its website, Nike’s Staten Island store closed two hours earlier than usual on Monday, at 6 p.m. as opposed to the regular 8 p.m. When asked about the changes to the regular store hours on the phone, an employee at the store said these new hours had been put in place in that store until at least Jan. 16 because of staffing issues related to COVID-19. Other stores on Nike’s website, including its Soho location, also appear to be open for fewer hours than usual.
Nike did not return FN’s request for comment.
Last week, Macy’s said it was temporarily shortening its hours for the month of January at all stores. All Macy’s stores will be open Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Some locations previously opened at 10 a.m. and closed at 9 p.m., Macy’s website shows. Store hours from Friday through Sunday will not change.
A Starbucks spokesperson said that local store leaders have scaled operations “based on partner availability,” which could account for the changes in hours at certain stores as of late.
Despite the recent tumult, the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said that widespread shutdowns and store closures that happened in March 2020 are unlikely this time around.
“Even with the experience of the past two years, there is no model that can predict how the economy responds to a pandemic,” Kleinhenz said last week. “What we have learned is that each successive variant has slowed down the economy but that the degree of slowdown has been less.”
At the onset of the pandemic, major retailers shuttered their stores for months. According to Kleinhenz, the effects highly-transmissible Omicron variant are often more mild for vaccinated people, so he does not expect lockdowns this time around.