Australia markets closed

The retailers shutting shop during coronavirus

The retailers shutting shop amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Source: Getty

With the coronavirus outbreak escalating, more and more employers are telling staff to work from home - and some businesses are shutting shop entirely. 

Here are the retailers that have closed in Australia and worldwide:

UDPATE MARCH 21: As of March 17, Bonds has shut its Sydney airport store amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Patagonia has announced it will also also temporarily close all its Australian stores until March 27.

Swedish outdoor clothing brand, Fjallraven, shut its Sydney and Melbourne stores on March 20

MARCH 17: On March 14, Apple decided it would shut all shops outside of China for the next two weeks to combat the coronavirus pandemic, with CEO Tim Cook tweeting the company “must do all we can” to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

In a company statement, Apple said it was “taking additional steps” to protect its staff and customers. 

“In all of our offices, we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China,” the company stated.

“That means team members should work remotely if their job allows, and those whose work requires them to be on site should follow guidance to maximise interpersonal space.”

Apple stores within China reopened on Saturday for the first time in a month as no new cases are confirmed. 

Flight Centre announced on 13 March up to 100 stores across Australia would shut as the coronavirus continued to spread. 

“Within this uncertain environment, our priorities are to reduce costs, while also ensuring that we and our people are ready to capitalise when the steep discounting that is underway across most travel categories starts to gain traction and as the trading cycle rebounds,” the company stated. 

Stores shut across America

The closure of shops is perhaps more prominent across the US and Europe. 

On March 15, Nike announced it would shut all retail stores in the US and Western Europe to help slow the spread of the virus, and offered office employees the opportunity to work remotely. 

“We are taking additional steps in other Nike-managed facilities, including the option to work from home, staggered work schedules, social distancing and additional safety and cleaning steps to help protect and support our teammates,” the company said in a statement.

Disney announced it would temporarily shut all retail store locations, in addition to its resort and theme parks, as of March 17.

Lululemon Athletica temporarily shut 38 stores in China in February, and has since shuttered stores in North America and Europe too.

Apparel juggernaut Urban Outfitters has temporarily closed all of its store locations “until further notice”, according to a notice posted on its website, effective Sunday March 15.  

Abercrombie & Fitch plans to close all of its stores outside of the Asia-Pacific region, while online stores will continue to operate. 

Las Vegas casino operator Wynn Resorts announced on March 15 it would temporarily shut its Wynn Las Vegas and Encore properties for two weeks starting March 17 to prevent the spread of the virus.

MGM Resorts followed suit shortly after.

Italy hit hardest

Boutiques, multi-brand establishments and department stores have been forced to close their doors after Italy’s lockdown measures took effect on Thursday 12 March.

Bars, restaurants and beauty salons were also ordered to shut down, with just public services and industrial production businesses allowed to remain in operation under strict hygiene conditions.

The restrictions came in place as the virus death toll surged over 30 per cent on Wednesday to more than 800.

Gatherings of over 100 people banned

On Wednesday 18 March, Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared a biosecurity emergency, announcing restrictions on indoor gatherings of 100 people of more in pubs, clubs and restaurants.

The PM stressed the ban would not be extended to “essential” gatherings, such as supermarkets, airports and public transport.

More to come.

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