Coronavirus furlough at Dick’s Sporting Goods impacts 40,000 employees

The sport retail store has suspended employment as COVID-19 continues to keep stores closed

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Dick’s Sporting Goods plans to furlough an unspecified number of employees because demand at its shops has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lockdowns, quarantines and the cancellation of large events and gatherings that were put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, have sapped demand and it is unclear when store could re-open.

"As we all know, our economy has ground to a halt," Dick's wrote in a regulatory filing. " There are no high school or community baseball or softball games, no lacrosse games, no track and field events. Schools, health clubs, and businesses throughout the country are closed, including our 800+ stores."

Hickory, NC, USA-20 August 2018: A Dick's Sporting Goods store, one of over 600 in the U.S.

It is not clear how many of its workers will be furloughed. The retailers reportedly has more than 40,000 employees, but the company's filing stated that only a "significant number" of store employees will be furloughed.

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

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The company doesn't intend to send all of its workers home. Some will be kept on to fulfill online and curbside pick-up orders, the company said.

The company’s stock is up by five percent as of Wednesday, but it has lost half its value this year.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DKSDICKS SPORTING56.81-2.68-4.50%

Several other large retailers, including Macy’s Inc., Kohl’s Corp., Gap Inc., Ross Stores Inc., L Brands Inc. and TJX Companies Inc., have furloughed employees to make it through the coronavirus pandemic.

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Competing sporting goods store Modell’s filed for bankruptcy shortly before the pandemic but it stopped liquidation because shoppers cannot enter stores.

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Furloughed employees will receive pay through Saturday and their benefits throughout the furlough, according to the company.

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"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," DIck's wrote.

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