Atlanta-based Havertys furniture retailer will temporarily close 121 stores from Thursday to April 2.
The company will also suspend warehouse and distribution operations for two weeks in an effort to protect workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus, but workers receiving products from vendors and making home deliveries will continue to work through March 21.
The company said it will pay affected workers during the pause. Havertys corporate office personnel are working remotely, and senior leadership is assessing business continuity plans during the international national health emergency.
It joins a number of regional and national retailers who are closing stores for weeks as the nation’s businesses react to the spreading disease. Companies from tech giants such as Apple to clothing retailers such as Urban Outfitters are temporarily closing stores. Local mom-and-pop stores are also feeling the pinch and closing or trying to make a go of it as state and local governments and health authorities are telling people to stay away from public gatherings and to limit human contact.
There is a growing concern about the economic impact on the state and nation as some employees are losing jobs and income. But many companies are continuing to pay employees as long as possible.
Clarence H. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of Havertys said: “We believe it is our corporate responsibility and reflects our company’s values regarding our employees, customers, and communities to take these actions. Havertys was founded in 1885 and has weathered many difficult periods. Our financial strength, commitment and experience of our teams, and flexibility will serve us well during these uncertain times.”