The department store chain Macy's Inc. on Monday said it will furlough the majority of its 130,000 employees this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The outbreak, which has forced Macy's to close all of its 839 Macy's, Bloomingdale's and BlueMercury stores, has taken "a heavy toll" on business, the company said in a statement.
Macy's Inc. still relies heavily on brick-and-mortar store sales. "While the digital business remains open, we have lost the majority of our sales due to the store closures," the company said.
Some employees on the digital side of the business, as well as those who work in distribution and call centers ,will be spared from the company-wide cuts.
"We will be moving to the absolute minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations. This means the majority of our colleagues will go on furlough beginning this week," the company said in a statement on its website.
Furloughed employees with health benefits will be covered through May, the company said.
Macy's says it expects to rehire furloughed employees "on a staggered bass" once it's safe to reopen stores and business resumes.