Lands’ End furloughs workers

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iStock / YinYang

DODGEVILLE, Wis. — Lands’ End announced it has furloughed workers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A furlough of roughly 70% of the company’s corporate employees and nearly all of its retail workers went into effect March 28, according to a news release from the Dodgeville-based retailer.

“At Lands’ End, the safety and health of all our employees is our first priority and we are taking steps to minimize risk through work-at-home policies, as well as practicing social distancing and enhanced sanitation in our facilities,” President and Chief Executive Officer Jerome Griffith said in a statement. “Given the uncertainty related to the severity and duration of COVID-19, we have also taken proactive steps to reduce costs, carefully manage inventory and preserve liquidity.”

Employees who are involved with “critical tasks” will return to work April 14, but most are not expected to come back until at least May 1. Lands’ End will also fund health insurance premiums for workers through May 1.

The company’s 26 national stores will stay closed until further notice, but the Wisconsin-based distribution centers remain open and operational. The release said customers can still make orders online through the company’s website.

“While we don’t know the duration of this pandemic, and its overall impact, we do know that Lands’ End is an iconic brand with a strong American heritage, and we are ready to meet the needs of our loyal customers at this difficult time,” said Griffith. “Our brand has made it through rough environments over its nearly 60-year history, and the actions we are taking combined with our liquidity position give me confidence in our ability to weather this storm.”