Department Stores Are Finally Closing

Photo: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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This week, New York shuttered its public schools and its bars and restaurants (except for takeout) — even the Met Gala has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But what about stores? While there have been no government-mandated closures, many business have decided to close up shop for safety reasons, like Glossier, and because most shoppers are now stuck at home.

On Tuesday, Nordstrom became the first major department-store chain to close all of its North American stores, including its Nordstrom Rack locations, as well as Trunk Club and Jeffrey. For now, the closures are temporary, lasting for two weeks starting March 17.

“We’re taking decisive actions across the business to help protect employees, customers and others in the communities we serve,” Erik Nordstrom, chief executive officer of Nordstrom, Inc., told WWD. “The health and safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority as we continue to make decisions during this rapidly evolving situation.”

On Monday night, Saks Fifth Avenue announced that its Manhattan flagship will temporarily close for “up to” two weeks as well. On the beauty side, Sephora also announced that it will be closing its U.S. and Canada stores as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, which will remain shuttered until April 3.

“All store employees will continue to receive their base pay for scheduled shifts for the duration of this closure,” a Sephora spokesperson told WWD. Nordstrom and Saks will also provide pay and benefits for its store employees during this period.

For now, customers can still get their shopping fix online.

Department Stores Are Finally Closing