Coronavirus: Kohl’s extends nationwide temporary store closures indefinitely

Department store chain Kohl's announced Monday it will extend its nationwide closures indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company said in a news release.

The Wisconsin-based company, saying it was “an incredibly difficult decision,” also announced a temporary furlough of store associates and store distribution center associate. Some corporate office associates, “whose work has been significantly reduced" by store closures, will also be furloughed.

Kohl's will continue to provide health benefits to affected employees, the release said.

"It is an incredibly difficult decision to extend our store closures and temporarily furlough some of our associates," Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass said in a statement. "We look forward to the day that we can reopen our stores to welcome our associates back and serve the millions of families across the country that shop Kohl's."

Gass also said in the statement she would not take a salary, although it did not say how long she would not be paid.

According to regulatory filings, Gass earned an annual base salary of $1,431,500, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported.

Kohl's announced March 19 it would close its stores until April 1, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Kohl's still offers online ordering. Beginning April 2, in-store pickup will begin between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time, MarketWatch reported.

In addition to the furloughs, Kohl's announced it was decreasing capital expenditures by approximately $500 million and will fully draw down its $1 billion revolving credit facility, the news release said.

Kohl's is also suspending share buybacks and is looking at its dividend program, MarketWatch reported.A document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Kohl's employed an average of 122,000 associates during 2019, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported.

"As a company, we operate with great discipline to maintain a strong balance sheet and financial flexibility," Gass said in a statement. "Given these extraordinary circumstances, we are taking difficult and decisive actions to strengthen our financial liquidity and secure the financial position of the company for the long-term benefit of our associates, customers and shareholders."

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