Outdoor adventure brand Patagonia will temporarily close all of its Australian stores from today, as the retailer continues to grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, the retailer said its eight stores will be closed until March 27, following an earlier decision on Monday to adjust the opening hours across its network.
“We have taken this step out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of all of our retail team members, their families and the community broadly, after initially planning for reduced trading hours,” said the company.
The Patagonia online store will continue to trade, and the company said it is ensuring the staff who work on this part of the business are safe as they fulfil orders.
“As the situation changes, we will continue to make decisions based on the best interests of our employees, customers and community at large,” the company said.
Patagonia operates six full-retail stores — in Melbourne CBD, Torquay (Vic), Sydney CBD, Manly (NSW), Byron Bay and Burleigh Head (Qld) — as well as outlet stores in Geelong and Fitzroy (Vic).
Meanwhile, Patagonia products are stocked by more than 360 stockists across Australia and New Zealand.
A spokesperson for the company told SmartCompany Patagonia currently employs about 100 employees in its stores and head office combined. Patagonia employees who can work from home are already doing so, and all staff are being paid their regular pay during any closures.
On Monday, Patagonia announced its Australian stores would open for reduced hours each day, between 11am and 3pm, as part of its response to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. At the time, the retailer said it was making that decision to “help reduce risks for our whole community”.
The decision to temporarily close the brand’s Australian stores follows a decision by Patagonia in the US last week to temporarily shut down operations, close stores and halt online orders, until at least March 27.