Myer shuts stores in wake of COVID-19

Heather McNab
Myer has announced it will close its stores until at least April 27 because of the coronavirus

Retail giant Myer will close all of its stores and stand down about 10,000 staff without pay in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement published to the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday night, Myer said it will temporarily close all stores from the close of business on Sunday for an initial period of four weeks.

"The health and wellbeing of customers, team members, their families and the broader communities in which we operate remains Myer's absolute priority," the statement said.

"We are, therefore, fully supportive of the various measures undertaken by both governments, and their respective agencies, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through social isolation and distancing measures, including staying at home, wherever possible."

Myer will continue to operate all online business.

The "difficult decision" has also been made to stand down about 10,000 team members from Monday, the statement said.

As staff will not be working they will not be paid, however full and part time staff will have greater flexibility to access annual leave and long service entitlements.

A small group of "business-critical roles" will be maintained, the statement said.

Myer chief executive John King said the outcome is "one of the toughest decisions this company has faced in its 120 years of operation".