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Coronavirus: Dick’s Sporting Goods furloughs ‘significant’ number of staff

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Dick’s Sporting Goods has announced plans to furlough staff – believed to be in the region of 40,000 – because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of North America’s major suppliers of fishing tackle, has announced plans to furlough a ‘significant’ number of employees – believed to be in the region of 40,000 – at its stores, distribution centres and headquarters.

The news comes following reports that the retailer, whose stores have been closed since March 17th, has sent letters to landlords indicating that it will reduce or not pay rent due to the ‘unprecedented situation’ created by the COVID-19 crisis.

Dick’s has also revealed plans to temporarily reduce the salaries of its executives and senior management and modify its capital allocation plan for 2020, including significantly reducing its planned capital expenditures.

In a statement, it said: “Our world is navigating a situation filled with uncertainty and it is extraordinarily difficult for all of us. Our deepest sympathy goes out to everyone impacted by COVID-19.

“As we all know, the economy has ground to a halt. There are no high school or community baseball or softball games, no lacrosse and no track and field events. Schools, health clubs and businesses throughout the country are closed, including our 800-plus stores.

“As the impact of the virus continues to grow, it is increasingly evident that our stores are not going to reopen to public access any time soon. We will continue to serve our communities via our digital channels and through Curbside Contactless Pickup at our Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy stores, where permitted.

“However, it’s with a heavy heart, and after considerable deliberation and concern for our teammates and for our company, that we now must furlough a significant number of our teammates. Our teammates are the lifeblood of our company – an amazing group of dedicated and passionate people – which makes this an agonising decision, and one we had hoped we would never have to make.

“We’re doing all we can to support those impacted by the furlough – including providing pay through to April 11th and company benefits to those who are currently enrolled in our benefits programme throughout the furlough.

“For now, until our stores are fully re-opened, small teams within our stores, distribution centres and corporate office will continue to work, following social distancing practices. Many of these teammates, including our executives, will work at reduced wages to help us through this crisis.

“It is our goal that when this crisis subsides, we will welcome back our teammates, open our doors and get back to the business we love of serving athletes and our communities.”

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