17 retailers still paying employees during the coronavirus pandemic
Here's where to shop online to support them.
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With stores closing across the country in light of the coronavirus outbreak, many hourly employees and sales associates are being laid off or being forced to go days (or even weeks) without pay. Fortunately, however, a lot of retailers are stepping up and pledging to continue to pay their employees, with many also offering full health benefits and flexible schedules.
If you want to support those brands—and the people who work for them—we've rounded up 20 popular retailers that are taking care of their employees during this tough time, from Sephora to Anthropologie.
On March 17, Nordstrom announced it would be closing all of its U.S. and Canada stores for two weeks. However, if you're as big of a Nordstrom fan as we are, you'll be happy to hear that the upscale retailer is still open online—and is still paying its employees. "We want to take care of [our employees] as best we can and will be providing them with pay and benefits during this two-week period as well as providing additional resources to help them through this challenging time," Nordstrom wrote in an update.
Popular shoe brand Allbirds is doing two great things in light of the coronavirus outbreak. First, it announced that it will continue paying its employees. And second, it's created the option for donation bundles on online orders. That means that if you purchase a pair of shoes, you can opt to donate a pair to healthcare workers, too.
Since closing all of its North America and Europe stores through April 5, Lululemon has gone above and beyond in caring for its employees. In an online letter, the athleisure retailer said that not only will it pay its employees during the closure but it will also use its Global Relief Pay plan to help any of its team members who are directly affected by the pandemic.
4. J. Crew
Calling its store associates "the heart of our company," J.Crew reassured shoppers that it would continue to pay its employees during the two-week timeframe that its stores (both J.Crew and J.Crew Factory) are closed. According to its latest update, J.Crew plans to reopen on March 28.
You might not be able to shop at Sephora stores in person until after April 3, but its employees are still being paid and receiving their health and wellness benefits. And store associates aren't the only ones Sephora is taking care of—the beauty retailer is also offering free shipping at Sephora.com (use the code FREESHIP) along with longer return periods for purchases made before stores closed.
You can look good and feel good shopping at Madewell, knowing that the retailer is continuing to pay its store associates despite the fact that brick-and-mortar stores are closed until March 28. "We promise to continue to be a place to inspire you, to encourage you and—now more than ever—to make you smile," Madewell wrote in its announcement.
"REI has always been about doing the right thing for our community," the retailer wrote on its website. And that includes paying the employees of its 162 retail stores that are temporarily closed. And if you're planning to shop REI.com (where you'll currently get free shipping on all orders!), some of our editors' favorites include Smartwool socks, this North Face parka, and the best running watch.
According to Adidas, "the health of our teammates and friends matters most." That's why the athletic brand closed all of its U.S. stores through March 29 amid the coronavirus outbreak. However, it did clarify that it will pay all of its employees their planned hourly pay or salaries during this time.
9. Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Free People
Yes, you can still shop Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Free People online—and yes, all three brands are still paying their employees while stores are closed. How much longer do you have to wait before you can shop in-person? Per the last update, the retailer will re-open stores on March 28.
10. Under Armour
How is Under Armour responding to the coronavirus outbreak? First, they're paying all of their employees as regularly scheduled through March 28 (when stores are allegedly set to reopen). And second, they're donating $1 million to Feeding America to help kids and families in need due to school closures.
We're happy that we can still shop all of Reformation's gorgeous dresses and great-fitting jeans online—but we're even happier that the retailer is supporting its employees while stores are closed. "We will compensate all of our teams during this time and for as long as we possibly can," Reformation posted on its website.
PSA: Patagonia closed all of its operations (including its online store) in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The retailer, explaining that all employees will continue to receive their regular pay, added that they'll reopen once they figure out how to do so safely for their warehouse team. However, you can still shop Patagonia at other retailers, like REI or Nordstrom.
While H&M has shuttered the doors of its retail stores until April 2, the retailer is still making sure its employees are being taken care of with two weeks of continued pay. As if that's not enough reason to shop H&M online right now, there's another perk: You'll get free shipping on any purchase for the time being.
Maker of Meghan Markle's favorite flats, Rothy's is supporting their employees through this challenging time. The retailer, after closing stores through March 31, said they will also be paying their store associates for the duration and are encouraging their headquarter employees to work from home.
Despite closing its stores from March 19 until at least March 31, Ulta is not only continuing to pay its employees but also continuing to provide benefits to those who were already enrolled. And good news for makeup lovers—Ulta's popular 21 Days of Beauty sale is still going on as planned through April 4.
16. Banana Republic and Gap
Whether you're more of a Banana Republic shopper or a Gap one, you can rest easy knowing that both stores are taking care of their retail associates while stores are closed. The retailer explained in its announcement, "Under Gap Inc.’s Continuous Pay Policy, we will provide our impacted store employees with pay continuity and benefits during this two-week period."
As Nike's temporary slogan says: Play inside, play for the world. So while they've closed their stores (encouraging that play inside!), they're paying their employees as they usually would be for the duration of the closure. Nike has also offered employees the option to work from home—if possible—or to stagger their work schedules. The retailer is doing a lot to make sure its team members are comfortable and cared-for.
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