RM Williams, Country Road and Cotton On shops closed in response to coronavirus pandemic | Major Australian retailers are closing their doors from this weekend in response to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving thousands of staff out of work.

RM Williams, Country Road and Cotton On shops closed in response to coronavirus pandemic

RM Williams, Country Road and Cotton On shops closed in response to coronavirus pandemic

RM Williams, Country Road and Cotton On shops closed in response to coronavirus pandemic

RM Williams, Country Road and Cotton On shops closed in response to coronavirus pandemic

RM Williams, Country Road and Cotton On shops closed in response to coronavirus pandemic

RM Williams, Country Road and Cotton On shops closed in response to coronavirus pandemic
RM Williams, Country Road and Cotton On shops closed in response to coronavirus pandemic
  • By: ABC News (AU)
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RM Williams, Country Road and Cotton On close stores in response to coronavirus pandemic

Updated March 28, 2020 20:49:36

Iconic outfitter RM Williams says it is closing its Australian stores from today because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Key points:

  • RM Williams said coronavirus had stopped it "mid-stride"
  • Country Road, Mimco, Politix, Trenery, Cotton On and Witchery stores are also closing shops
  • The closures come a day after Myer and Kathmandu announced they were closing their stores due to coronavirus

In a statement, the company said "the COVID-19 crisis has stopped us mid-stride so to say, on a global level, affecting humanity at every level".

"After great deliberation, knowing this will impact each of us and our RM Williams family in different ways, we are closing our Australian Stores effective the 28th March."

Other high street retailers also shut their shops on Saturday as crowds stayed away.

Country Road Group and Cotton On Group both announced they were shutting their shops, leaving thousands of staff out of work.

Country Road will temporarily close all its retail stores in Australia from close of business on Saturday until further notice.

Cotton On, meanwhile, which owns brands including Cotton On, Cotton on Body, Factorie, Rubie Shoes and Supre, will close its 650 Australian stores from 5:00pm on Sunday.

On Friday department store Myer and adventure clothing and equipment chain Kathmandu announced they would close their stores from Sunday night for at least four weeks, standing down thousands of works.

Owned by South African company Woolworths Holdings, Country Road Group says on its website it employs more than 7,000 staff across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The company's stable of retailers include Country Road, Mimco, Politix, Trenery and Witchery.

Witchery will close its Australian stores from Sunday. Mimco did not specify when its stores would close, but confirmed it had decided to "temporarily close our Mimco Boutiques across Australia".

Trenery's stores will close from the end of Saturday until further notice, as will Politix's.

"As a heritage Australian brand, we recognise that we have an important role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19," Country Road managing director Elle Roseby said in a statement posted online.

"This is a decision that has not been made lightly, and one we feel is necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of our team, customers and wider community."

Ms Roseby said the retailer was working with all staff affected by the closures and was "exploring the best ways to offer our support in the coming weeks".

"Our teams have shown nothing but dedication and professionalism during these difficult few weeks and we will do everything we can to bring them back together once these hard times pass," she said.

It is understood the Cotton On Group will redeploy some staff to work at Aldi and Woolworths supermarkets during the closure.

All the brands will continue to trade online.

with AAP

The Virus: Jeremy Fernandez tracks the major coronavirus developmentsVideo: The Virus: Jeremy Fernandez tracks the major coronavirus developments (ABC News)

Topics: retail, industry, business-economics-and-finance, infectious-diseases-other, covid-19, australia

First posted March 28, 2020 20:18:22



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