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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On March 31, 2020, Macy's Inc. said it is cancelling some orders and putting nearly its full workforce on furlough. "The COVID-19 outbreak continues to take a heavy toll on Macy's Inc. business," the company announced. "All of our stores have been closed since March 18th and will remain closed until we have clear line of sight on when it is safe to reopen." Although e-commerce continues, the company said it has lost the majority of its sales due to temporary store closures. Furloughs go into effect tomorrow. All employees at the director-level and above who are not furloughed will have a pay reduction. Company CEO Jeff Gennette and the board of directors will receive no cash compensation. "We expect to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes," the company said. In the meantime, the Macy's, Bloomingdales and Bluemercury nameplates will remain the minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations.
    • On March 31, 2020, Culp Inc. said it has reprioritized some of its operations to manufacture products needed for the healthcare industry and for essential infrastructure and public health uses. The products include personal face masks and fabrics for masks, as well as bed covers for hospitals, and other fabrics used for mattresses and furniture products supplied to healthcare facilities, nursing homes, emergency shelters, hotels and motels, and other residential facilities. The company has a dedicated team working to develop and produce critical items to support COVID-19 relief efforts, and is supporting numerous requests from customers for products and materials that are necessary for essential businesses, officials said.
    • On March 31, 2020, it was reported, Ross Stores vendors received unwelcome news, although probably not unexpected. The off-pricer late last week informed suppliers it is canceling all orders through June 18, according to several news reports. It also plans to extend payment terms on existing payables by 90 days. "This is the first time in our history that we are unable to deliver exceptional merchandise to our customers," the memo stated, according to a report by Reuters. Two weeks ago, Ross announced it had begun paring inventories as COVID-19-related store closures in several markets impinged on total sales. Last week, the company decided to shutter all Ross Dress for Less and dd's Discounts locations as least through April 3.
    • On March 26, 2020, it was reported, Modell's Sporting Goods filed for a reprieve in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, asking the court to approve a 45-day bankruptcy and operating suspension due to the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on Modell's store closing sales. The retailer had planned to liquidate its entire 134-store footprint. In court documents, the retailer asserted that the "unprecedented, exponential spread of Coronavirus disease" has impacted its bankruptcy proceedings, most notably its liquidation sales. "The cornerstone of these cases is the liquidation of the Debtors' 134 stores and e-commerce site through store closing sales. Notwithstanding the Debtors' best-laid plans, COVID-19 has prevented the Debtors from conducting the robust liquidation sales that seemed possible just one week ago," the company wrote. If approved, the suspension would include putting a pause on all store closing sales, laying off store associates and distribution center employees without severance, and laying off "most" corporate employees without severance. The remainder would be a "skeleton crew of essential employees" in human relations, finance and infrastructure technology roles.