Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co) announced Monday it will temporarily close its owned and operated retail locations in the U.S. and Canada effective immediately, in response to COVID-19 and the guidance of public health officials in both countries.
The company said it expects these stores to remain closed through March 27, 2020. Store employees will be paid for all scheduled hours during the closure.
“We are facing an unprecedented global pandemic, and our first priority is to do the right thing for the health and safety of our employees and our consumers,” said Chip Bergh, LS&Co president and CEO. “We have faced many challenges in our 167-year history, and we will continue to navigate difficult times as we always have—by putting our people first and managing this business for the long term.”
The temporary closures will not affect the company’s online operations, which is currently offering 30 percent off and free shipping as part of its Friends and Family event. Last week, the company cancelled its New York City press previews.
Levi’s is among a growing roster of retailers responding to the coronavirus by shuttering their doors. Over the weekend, Urban Outfitters Inc. said it would close all approximately 640 global stores. Nike said it would cease store operations in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand until March 27. Ethical fashion retailer Everlane and teen denim retailer Abercrombie & Fitch also announced store closures.
On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new guidance recommending that all gatherings of 50 or more people be postponed or cancelled for the next eight weeks.