Myer Closes All Stores, Stands Down 10,000 Staff Members
Myer has announced it will shut down all of its stores for at least four weeks, becoming the latest retail business forced to close its doors amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Stores will be shut from close of business on Sunday until at least April 27.
Myer will also stand down around 10,000 team members who worked across both its store network and support office.
Team members will not be paid during this period of imposed closure, the company said.
"The health and wellbeing of customers, team members, their families and the broader communities in which we operate remains Myer's absolute priority," the company said in a statement on Friday night.
"Full time and part-time members will be given greater flexibility to access their annual leave and long service entitlements, in addition to government assistance measures."
CEO John King said it was "one of the toughest decisions this company has faced in its 120 years of operation."
"Our focus must remain on operating our business in a manner that protects the health and wellbeing of customers and team members, whilst supporting the government, and the communities in which we operate in limiting the spread of COVID-19".
The retail giant said it would still continue with online sales, and reduce the threshold for free delivery to $49 while also relaxing its returns policy.
It comes after a number of Australian retailers announced they would be closing down their stores amid the virus outbreak this week, leaving an estimated 30,000 workers in the sector without jobs prior to Myer's announcement.
Brand collective, which owns stores such as Superdry, Clarks and Hush Puppies announced earlier on Friday that all of its stores would also close on Sunday.
Earlier Kathmandu Group announced it would be closing its entire retail network in Australia by 5pm Friday.
At least 2,000 workers from Kathmandu and Rip Curl stores, as well as most head office staff, have lost their jobs.
On Thursday, Premier Investments, which owns retail brands Portmans, General Pants, Peter Alexander, Jacquie E, Smiggle, Just Jeans, Dotti and Jay Jays, announced it would shut the doors on its stores for one month.
Across Premier Investments' 900 stores nationally, 7,000 workers are now without a job.
These numbers add to the other stores such as Lovisa, The Athlete's Foot and Hype that have all shuttered their doors too.
The SDA, the union for retail, fast food and warehouse workers, told 10 daily the number of retail workers now unemployed is growing almost hourly.