Lululemon closes stores and cancels events
Vancouver-based athletic apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. is the latest retailer to close stores and cancel its events schedule, at both its North American and European locations, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite announcing that it would "cut" its store hours earlier during the week, the yoga-wear maker announced a decision Sunday to close its stores in North America and Europe, starting on March 16 and through March 27. Store-based events and gatherings, which include yoga classes and running clubs, have equally been canceled.
"We're living in extraordinary times and we're learning more about COVID-19 every day. We feel it's important for our employees and guests to be able to stay home and support their family, friends and loved ones," said Lululemon in a statement. To help its employees, Lululemon will pay employees for all hours they were scheduled to work despite reduced store hours. The company equally introduced a “Global Relief Pay plan”, which includes 14 days of salary protection for anyone fighting the virus. Moreover, Lululemon implemented last week a mandatory work-from-home policy for all of its Vancouver-based head office employees, after a person working in its Kitsilano head office contracted what the company called "a presumptive positive case of Covid-19.” The work-from-home period is expected to last until Friday, March 20. Lululemon is just one of many major retailers and brands that are temporarily closing stores or reducing store hours in North America, joining sports arenas and concert halls throughout Canada and the United States. Apple, Aritzia, Patagonia, Urban Outfitters and Glossier are amongst the brands to have recently announced store closures.
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