COLUMBUS (WCMH) — L Brands announced the temporary closure of all Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret and PINK stores in the United States and Canada will last longer than March 29th. The company first announced the stores would reopen on March 29th, but on Friday L Brands said it is not currently able to predict the timing of store re-openings citing the continued spread of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders by government officials across the country.
Associates will continue to receive pay and benefits through April 4th, which is one week longer than originally announced.
The company released the following statement about actions being taken to strengthen its financial flexibility:
On March 16, 2020, the company elected to draw down $950 million from its Revolving Credit Facility. In an effort to further strengthen its financial flexibility and efficiently manage through the pandemic, the company is proactively taking the following additional actions:
- Suspending its quarterly cash dividend beginning in the second quarter of 2020. The company remains committed to paying dividends over the long-term and will re-evaluate when appropriate.
- Executing a substantial reduction in expenses and capital expenditures. This includes an ongoing reduction in forward inventory receipts.
- Temporarily reducing base compensation by 20% for senior vice presidents and above. The cash compensation of Chairman and CEO Leslie H. Wexner and other members of the Board of Directors has been suspended. Additionally, the company is deferring annual merit increases.
- Furloughing most store associates plus those who are not currently working to support the online businesses or who cannot work from home, effective April 5, 2020 until further notice. All furloughed associates will continue to receive existing healthcare benefits. As circumstances change, L Brands will make every effort to bring these associates back to work as soon as possible. Furloughed associates will also be able to apply for unemployment benefits, if eligible.