By Tonya Garcia, MarketWatch
Ralph Lauren Corp. and Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. joined a growing list of retailers that are temporarily shutting their stores in North America and elsewhere in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
With governments recommending “social distancing” and restricting the number of people who gather in spaces across cities and towns, retailers are suggesting that shoppers turn to their e-commerce channels to do their shopping.
With each announcement, retailers say they will continue to pay staff during the store closures and in some cases offer other financial assistance for those who need it.
Ralph Lauren /zigman2/quotes/207257694/composite RL -1.11% will close stores across North America from March 18 through April 1. And the luxury apparel company said its company-owned stores in the U.K. would shutter temporarily. A number of stores in Europe and Asia are already closed due to the pandemic.
And TJX Cos. /zigman2/quotes/203136811/composite TJX -2.19% , parent to off-price retailers like TJ Maxx, said it was suspending its dividend, closing stores, and taking other measures in response to the pandemic. TJX was joined by other off-price retailers Ross Stores Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202639496/composite ROST +1.84% and Burlington Stores Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203203718/composite BURL +1.47% in taking action.
Foot Locker /zigman2/quotes/204092533/composite FL -2.92% closed stores across North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) and Malaysia from March 17 through March 31.
Stores in Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia will remain open as directed by local governments. Foot Locker has 3,129 stores around the world.
Foot Locker is also among a growing number of retailers and brands that have nixed their guidance.
The athletic retailer has withdrawn its full-year outlook and will provide an update with the first-quarter earnings announcement, scheduled for May 22. The FactSet consensus is for earnings per share of $1.43 and sales of $2.04 billion.
Williams-Sonoma Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202067350/composite WSM -0.44% closed all of its stores in the U.S. and Canada starting 6 p.m. local time Tuesday through April 2. The Williams-Sonoma portfolio includes the namesake stores, Pottery Barn and West Elm.
“Our e-commerce sites, distribution centers and customer care centers will remain open, and we will keep our online order pickup at curb side and ship from store, as local regulations allow,” said Laura Alber, Williams-Sonoma chief executive, in a statement.
Raymond James analysts estimate that 54% of 2019 sales were through e-commerce channels.
“Admittedly, given the current news flow, most consumers are likely not focused on home furnishings right now,” analysts said. “Nonetheless, given customers will more than likely be spending a great deal of time in their homes over the next few weeks, we suspect there will be some e-commerce revenue during the closure period.”
Raymond James rates Williams-Sonoma stock market perform.