Bloomingdale’s, Glossier, Reformation, And More Close Stores Over Coronavirus Concerns

“Our number one priority is the health and well-being of our employees, our customers, and the communities we serve,” said Ralph Lauren in a statement


Photo: Eye Ubiquitous

The fashion industry loves to follow trends, with many brands piggybacking off each other to offer ideas that the masses want to consume. But with coronavirus being the most prevalent issue around the world, the one clear message nearly everyone is promoting has nothing to do with hemlines or prints. It is—and rightfully so—safety first.

Federal and local governments (to varying degrees), along with health organizations like the CDC, have encouraged all to practice social distancing as a way to contain the spread of COVID-19. And with department stores being a virtual hotbed of activity, keeping the lights on isn’t conducive to achieving this goal. So as a way to prompt the public to stay indoors and follow best practices—and to maintain the well-being of their employees—many of the biggest companies have announced temporary store closings.

Most will still offer online and app services for the time being, while some will prioritize medical supplies and personal care products. Enacting these measures will affect their bottom line, substantially decreasing their profit margins. Still, all parties involved understand that taking a financial hit now will help the global community in the long run. Below, a running list of companies doing their part.

Related article: How The Coronavirus Has Impacted The Fashion Schedule


Date of closing: March 17
 “Today we have made the difficult decision to close all of our retail stores in the US and Canada and implement remote working for employees in our corporate offices from 5pm local time tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17) through Friday, April 3. When Sephora first opened its doors, we did so with the mission to create a unique community for all beauty enthusiasts. Since then, we have always taken our responsibility to protect the well-being of our people and community seriously. It was with that responsibility in mind that we made this decision.”


Date of closingMarch 17
Statement: “The health and safety of our employees, customers and communities is our top priority. To do our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19, we will temporarily close all our stores for two weeks beginning Tuesday, March 17. We realize the impact a closure can have on our store employees, and this is not a decision we made lightly. We want to take care of them as best we can and will be providing pay and benefits during this two-week period as well as providing additional resources to help them through this challenging time. We will remain open online and look forward to serving you through our website and apps.”


Date of closing: Will prioritize medical supplies and personal care products.
 “We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one, and we want to make sure our customers can get the items they need, when they need them. As COVID-19 has spread, we’ve recently seen an increase in people shopping online which has had an impact on how we serve our customers. So in the short term, we are making the decision to temporarily prioritize household staples, medical supplies and other high demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock and ship these products to customers. We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability of these essential products, and continue to bring on additional capacity to deliver customer orders.”

Ralph Lauren

Date of closing: March 18
 “In the current context, our purpose of inspiring the dream of a better life takes on new meaning. Our number one priority is the health and well-being of our employees, our customers, and the communities we serve. That is why we will temporarily close our stores across North America beginning Wednesday, March 18, through Wednesday, April 1. During this period, we will continuously assess the quickly evolving context around us. We will take into account the guidance of medical experts, global health organizations, and governments to determine the right time to return to business location by location. All of our team members impacted by this short-term closure will receive their standard pay for the full two weeks. These closures will not impact our online or mobile shopping— and The Polo App, as well as, will remain open for business.”


Date of closing: March 12
 “We’ve made the difficult decision to close all our current permanent and temporary retail locations (New York, Los Angeles, London, and Atlanta) for at least the next two weeks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We will also delay the opening of Glossier Arizona, which was scheduled for next Wednesday. This is obviously a fluid situation, so we’ll be monitoring and adjusting our plans and timeline accordingly. This is a tough call for many reasons. In our New York City flagship alone, 2,000 people gather daily from around the world, often lining up down the block to connect with Glossier and with one another. Our amazing offline editors are not just employees—they are the living embodiment of our brand and ethos, and hosts of sorts. So we’ll be compensating them for their scheduled time throughout our planned two weeks of closure. From a company perspective, by closing our stores, we’ll sacrifice some near-term business goals, but we’re prepared to put public health ahead of our bottom line.”

Related article: LVMH Pledges To Supply Hand Sanitising Gels To French Hospitals


Date of closing: March 18
 “In these challenging times, nothing is more important than the health of safety of our Bloomingdale’s community. In an effort to protect our customers, colleagues and the greater public spread of COVID-19, we are temporarily closing all our stores and outlets from March 18 through March 31. There are no easy answers in these uncertain times—but what we do know is our associates are the heart of our stores, and we will make sure that they are taken care of and paid during this two-week period. While we’ll miss seeing you in stores, we remain open online and here on Instagram for your daily dose of style.”


Date of closing: March 14
 “Guys, by now we are all aware of the severity of COVID-19, and probably exhausted from the anxiety of it all. To make sure we do whatever we can to help contain the virus, we will be closing all of our stores for now. Our retail teams will be given paid time off. All planned events and factory tours have been canceled as well.”


Date of closing: March 17
“H&M’s top priority is maintaining the safety of all its colleagues and customers. We have been diligently following the latest recommendations made by local governments and the relevant health authorities and have been agile. … Nonetheless, the unprecedented and ever changing nature of the situation, the need for social distancing and in order to help reduce contraction of the virus, H&M has decided to close all stores until April 2nd. We will continue to support our colleagues who are impacted by the closure with two weeks of continued pay.”


Date of closing: March 17
“The health and safety of our customers, colleagues and communities is our utmost priority. As a result of the recent COVID-19 developments, we have decided to temporarily close our stores. We will work with government and health officials to assess when we will reopen our stores and safely bring our colleagues back to work.”


Date of closing: March 17
 “We want you to know that our employees will receive pay for all hours they have been scheduled to work. In addition, we are actively helping any team member battling this virus, needing time to self-quarantine, or finding their lives disrupted during this unusual time. We will miss you in our stores, but we are open to serve your healthy skin needs on our social channels and 24/7 at, where shipping is free on all orders, until further notice.”

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.

Related article: Cultural Institutions Head Online In Light of Coronavirus Concerns

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