Abercrombie & Fitch, Levi Strauss and VF Close Stores in Coronavirus Response

Abercrombie & Fitch, Levi Strauss and VF Corp. are among many retailers closing stores in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Abercrombie & Fitch  (ANF) - Get Report, Levi Strauss  (LEVI) - Get Report and VF Corp.  (VFC) - Get Report said they would be closing stores in the face of the coronavirus.

Broad-market trading was halted shortly after the open because a flood of selling triggered circuit breakers. At last check, Abercrombie & Fitch was off 14.5% at $9.64, Levi Strauss was off slightly to $13.34, and VF dropped 6.7% to $55.51.

Abercrombie & Fitch said it closed North American stores on Sunday, while its Europe-Middle East-Africa locations will close on Monday and remain shuttered until March 28. The company's Pacific Region locations will remain open.

All Abercrombie & Fitch store associates will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operators, the company said.   

The New Albany, Ohio, retailer also withdrew its first-quarter and full-year 2020 outlook, issued on March 4, "due to the heightened uncertainty relating to the potential impacts of Covid-19 on the company’s business operations."

Abercrombie & Fitch Chief Executive Fran Horowitz said in a statement the company has "a robust digital business."

Levi Strauss said it would close its U.S. and Canada stores as of Monday until March 27. Store employees will be paid for all scheduled hours during the closure. 

The company said it would provide a more detailed update during its fiscal-first-quarter-earnings call scheduled for April 7.

VF, owner of such brands as the North Face, Timberland and Vans, said all its company-owned stores across North America will be closed beginning Monday and running through April 5.

All retail employees at these locations will continue to receive full pay and benefits, the company said. 

VF said it also closed its corporate and brand offices in North America until April 5 and is enabling all office employees to work remotely. 

The company closed all offices and retail-store locations in mainland Europe until further notice, and U.K. locations are operating on reduced hours.

 VF initially closed the majority of its Asia-Pacific region offices and retail locations, but the offices in Greater China are open and about 90% of its retail-store locations are now open for business. 

VF said it would provide an update on the operational and financial impacts of the coronavirus during the fiscal-2020-fourth-quarter conference call in May.

Other retailers closing stores include lululemon  (LULU) - Get Report, Nike  (NKE) - Get Report, Under Armour  (UAA) - Get Report and Ralph Lauren  (RL) - Get Report. Walmart  (WMT) - Get Report and Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Report also are cutting hours and closing stores.