As the coronavirus continues its spread, retailers that have temporarily closed their doors have now moved to furlough their employees. Over the recent days, these companies have all announced that they were placing thousands of workers on furlough as the impact of the coronavirus continues to remain uncertain.

JC Penney

JC Penney has announced that it will extend its store closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company said, because of the closures, it has made the decision to furlough the majority of its store workers, beginning on April 2.

The company will also furlough employees at its corporate offices on April 5, while continuing the furloughs at its supply chain and logistics centers. Furloughed employees will continue to receive full health benefits, with JC Penney covering 100% of employee-paid premiums for the duration of the furlough period.


Kohl’s said it will extend its store closures until further notice, while also announcing that it would be furloughing workers at its stores and distribution centers as well as some corporate office workers.

Affected workers will continue to receive health benefits at this time. CEO Michelle Gass will also not take a salary as the company continues to manage the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Gap Inc. (Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy)

Gap Inc. also announced that it was furloughing the majority of its store workers in the U.S. and Canada after previously saying that its stores would be closed until April 1. The company is also reducing its corporate workforce globally.

Workers that are furloughed will continue to receive benefits until stores are able to reopen, the company said.


Macy’s is also furloughing the majority of its reported 130,000 workforce due to the impact of the coronavirus. The company had closed all stores previously to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will continue to offer its workers health benefits.

Ascena Retail Group (Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lane Bryant)

Ascena Retail Group will continue to keep its stores closed while continuing to assess the information available about the coronavirus. The company is working to reduce costs and preserve cash, causing it to furlough all store employees and close to half of its corporate workers.

The retailer said that furloughed staff will continue to receive medical benefits. Salaries of all corporate workers will also be reduced from 10 to 50%, depending on base pay. The company’s distribution centers will remain open at limited capacity as well as its e-commerce business.

L Brands (Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works)

After announcing it was closing all of its stores until April 4, L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, said that it was furloughing most store employees in addition to those that are not working to support its online business. The furloughs also affect workers that cannot work from home.

The furloughs go into effect on April 5 until further notice. The affected employees will continue to receive healthcare benefits.

Designer Brands (DSW and Shoe Warehouse)

Designer Brands has made the difficult decision to put most workers that do not support its online business on temporary unpaid leave. The layoffs went into effect on March 29, but workers will continue to receive their benefits and seniority.

The company has also enacted a salary reduction for all remaining employees and instituted a hiring freeze.

Tailored Brands (Men’s Warehouse and JoS. A Bank)

Tailored Brands said it will keep its stores closed until at least May 4, in addition to furloughing all U.S. store employees. The company has also furloughed workers in its distribution network and offices as well as implementing tiered pay cuts for its CEO, executive vice president, and senior vice president positions.

The company’s board of directors will also be taking a 50% pay cut during this time. Tailored Brands has also shut down its e-commerce business.

URBN (Urban Outfitters)

Following the closure of all its stores globally, URBN announced that these locations will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The company also said it made the “painful” decision to furlough a number of its store, wholesale, and home office employees.

The retailer said the furloughs will last for 60 days, which at that time, it hopes it can reopen its stores and begin recalling workers. Affected employees will continue to receive benefits during the furlough period.


Guess said its U.S. and Canada stores will remain closed until further notice during the coronavirus pandemic, causing it to furlough all store workers effective April 2. Health insurance will continue to be funded by the retailer, with another 50% of its corporate staff in the U.S. and Canada also furloughed.

The company said its distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada are also affected, with most of its employees at these locations also furloughed. Guess has also implemented temporary salary reductions for its management employees, ranging from 15% to 70%.

Customers leave a Kohl's store on Aug. 21, 2018, in San Rafael, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images