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  • Myer (MYR) will temporarily close all retail stores until at least April 27
  • The company has also decided to stand down approximately 10,000 employees, starting March 30
  • Many members of Myer’s executive, including the CEO, will sacrifice their entire pay during the closure period
  • The company is working to further minimise costs during this unprecedented economic crisis
  • Myer shares are up 11.9 per cent today, trading for 11.8 cents each

Department store chain Myer (MYR) is the latest retailer to make drastic cuts to keep COVID-19 at bay.

In order to comply with government guidelines, and to protect employees and customers, Myer will close all of its stores. The closure will be temporary, but will last for an initial estimate of four weeks. Stores will shut down after close of business on March 29, with hopes of reopening on April 27.

While all physical store locations will close, Myer intends to continue operating all of its online businesses. The company has reduced the threshold for free delivery down to $49 per order. Myer has also relaxed its returns policy during this time.

Due to the closure of all Myer stores, the company has unfortunately decided to stand down approximately 10,000 employees. These staff members will come from Myer’s store network and support office.

This decision will come into effect on Monday, March 30. Myer has expressed that it will not pay the workers who are stood down during the closure period. However, full time and part-time members will have greater flexibility to access their annual leave and long service entitlements.

In addition to offering free counselling to staff members, Myer claims that it will look for further ways to support their employees’ health and wellbeing.

A small group of business-critical positions will stay on during the closure period, to conduct essential work and support the online businesses. These employees will work only 80 per cent of their contracted hours, and be paid a corresponding 80 per cent of their normal salaries.

Members of the Myer Board and Executive team have opted to work during this period without remuneration. This includes Myer’s Managing Director and CEO, John King.

John said that these were some of the toughest decisions the company has faced in its 120-year history.

“Our focus must remain on operating our business in a manner that protects the health and wellbeing of customers and team members. We must also support the government, and the communities in which we operate, in limiting the spread of COVID-19,” John said.

“We will focus on ensuring we offer the best possible online experience for our customers, whilst being ready to restart the business in four weeks. Myer thanks its loyal customers and team members for their understanding during this unprecedented time,” he continued.

Myer shares are up 11.9 per cent today, trading for 11.8 cents each at 12:09 pm AEDT.

MYR by the numbers
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