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Ross Stores To Temporarily Furlough Employees; Chairman, CEO To Forgo Salaries

Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST) said it is taking additional steps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including temporarily furloughing the majority of its store and distribution center associates. In addition, the company's CEO and Chairman have decided to forgo their salaries.

The off-price apparel chain noted that all Ross Dress for Less and dd's DISCOUNTS locations have been closed since March 20. While the company had hoped to reopen stores by April 4, the increasing spread of the coronavirus has prevented it from doing so.

Due to limited visibility on when its stores will be able to reopen, Ross Stores said it is now taking additional actions to further enhance liquidity and strengthen its ability to manage through these challenging times.

As stores remain closed, Ross Stores will temporarily furlough the majority of its Store and Distribution Center associates, as well as some other associates across the business starting on Sunday, April 5, and until operations can resume in their areas.

The company said that all furloughed employees will remain Ross associates with no change to their health benefits. Ross will pay the employee portion of premiums for the furloughed employees who currently receive health benefits through the company.

"Management's goal is to keep associates safe and get them back to work as quickly as possible once stores reopen. In the interim, furloughed associates will be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits," Ross Stores said.

Barbara Rentler, Chief Executive Officer of Ross Stores, said that she and Michael Balmuth, Chairman of the Board, will receive no salaries.

In addition, Ross Stores' senior executive team has also agreed to take substantial salary cuts during this period, with smaller salary reductions cascading down to all associates through a certain level. Further, the company's outside Board members have agreed to forgo their cash retainer.

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