More major chains close due to virus

Country Road’s flagship in Auckland, NZ.

Cotton On, Country Road and Myer are just some of the major retailers that closed stores and stood down staff over the weekend to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

While most retail stores and shopping centres can technically remain open, foot traffic and discretionary spending have all but dried up, as consumers take on board the official advice to stay home.

And a growing number of retailers in discretionary categories, especially fashion, have opted to close stores, citing their desire to support the public health measures.

Cotton On Group, which owns Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids, Rubi, Typo, Factorie and Supre, closed its 650 stores in Australia on Sunday, March 29, at 5pm. It did not specify when they would reopen.

It will continue to pay all full-time and part-time retail staff for the next month, and has connected with Woolworths and Coles to redeploy its casual team members.

“As we navigate through some pretty tough times right now, our number one priority is to protect the livelihoods of our teams around the world as best we can,” Peter Johnson, Cotton On Group CEO, said.

Myer also closed all stores on Sunday at 5pm, standing down 10,000 staff, for an initial four-week period, as did Brand Collective, which owns a range of fashion and footwear brands, including Clarks, Hush Puppies, Mossimo, Superdry and Volley.

Country Road Group, which operates Country Road, Trenery, Mimco and Politix, closed its bricks-and-mortar stores on Saturday, March 28. It is owned by South Africa-based Woolworths Holdings, which also owns David Jones. The department store is currently still open.

Here is a long, but not exhaustive, list of retail businesses that have announced store closures over the past week:

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