Dozens of retailers are closing across the country as the coronavirus crisis continues.
Premier Investments, which owns Just Jeans, Portmans, Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Jay Jays and Portmans, announced today it will be temporarily closing all its retail stores effective 6pm tonight.
“Regrettably, this means all employees in Australia are to be stood down, except for a small number of employees required to perform limited essential work,” the company said in a statement to investors. “We have put in place special arrangements for employees to access accrued annual and long service leave entitlements to reduce the impact over this time. Globally these closures will impact over 9000 of our employees.”
Accent Group released a similar statement yesterday, announcing the closure of all its stores – which include The Athlete's Foot, Hype and Platypus – from 5pm on Friday.
“The company has made the difficult decision to close all stores in the group from 5pm on Friday 27 March 2020 for a period of 4 weeks,” the statement reads. “This also means that all of the company’s retail employees and the majority of support office employees will be stood down without pay for that period.”
The Accent Group closures will affect 5000 employees, but customers will be able to shop online during this period.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have made this decision, but we believe this to be in the best interests of the health and wellbeing of our team members,” Accent Group CEO Daniel Agostinelli said. “The company intends to do everything possible to return the business to normal operations when environmental conditions normalise.”
All General Pants stores are now closed “until further notice” according to the company’s website. Flight Centre has now stood down or made redundant 3800 Australian staff as part of global cost reductions, which include the closure of more than 100 stores announced on March 13, according to the ABC.
And Factory X (which owns include Gorman, Dangerfield, Jack London and Princess Highway), RAC Group (Tarocash, YD and Connor), accessories label Lovisa and Michael Hill Jewellers are following suit, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, which estimates more than 30,000 staff are affected across the board.