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U.S. Retailers To Furlough Most Of Employees

Gap Inc., Macy's Inc, and Kohl's will furlough a majority of their employees this week, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to close hundreds of stores around the world.

The retailers have extended the duration of their temporary store closures, as part of efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

But, their online businesses remains open.

Gap Inc., Macy's have suspended dividend, drawn down their line of credit to maintain financial flexibility. Kohl's has suspended share repurchases and is evaluating its dividend program.

Gap said it will furlough the majority of its store teams in the United States and Canada, pausing pay but continuing to offer applicable benefits until stores are able to reopen.

Gap also plans to reduce headcount across its corporate functions around the world. In addition, the entire leadership team and its board will take a temporary reduction in pay.

Gap has set up an employee resource center to support its impacted employees, particularly its store teams. It includes resources to identify and apply for temporary roles at other retailers that remain open and hiring.

Meanwhile, Macy's said that a majority of its employees will go on furlough beginning this week. But, only fewer furloughs will be in its digital business, supporting distribution centers and call centers.

At least through May, furloughed employees who are enrolled in health benefits will continue to receive coverage with the company covering 100% of the premium.

Moreover, Kohl's said that it will temporarily furlough store and store distribution center associates, as well as some corporate office associates whose work has been significantly reduced by the store closures.

Previously, Kohl's had provided two calendar weeks of pay to all store and store distribution center associates.

The company said it will continue to provide existing health benefits to furloughed associates at this time, and those impacted may benefit from the recently passed coronavirus stimulus legislation.

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