Burlington Stores Inc. said Monday that it has furloughed nearly all of its store associates and distribution center employees.

The off-pricer temporarily closed its locations on March 22 and they’ve remained closed.

Michael O’Sullivan, CEO, stated, “Protecting the health and safety of our associates, customers and the communities that we serve is our top priority. Our stores and distribution centers remain closed temporarily and will re-open when it is safe to do so. In response to the unprecedented circumstances that we face, we are continuing to take action across our business to best position Burlington for both the short and the long term.”

The company provided two weeks of financial support to associates impacted by the previously announced store closures and by the shutdown of the distribution centers. Given the uncertain duration of these closings, the company has temporarily furloughed most store and distribution center associates.

The company will continue to provide benefits to furloughed associates, including paying 100 percent of their current health benefit premiums. In addition, the company has established a hotline to assist impacted associates to help gain access to government assistance programs available from the recently passed fiscal stimulus package.

As part of its COVID-19 response, the company has taken the following additional short term actions:

  • Burlington’s CEO, Michael O’Sullivan, will not take a salary, the company’s Board of Directors will forfeit their cash compensation, and the company’s executive leadership team has voluntarily agreed to decrease their salary by 50 percent; and
  • Finalization of annual incentive bonus payments related to Fiscal 2019 performance, as well as merit pay increases for Fiscal 2020, have been delayed to later in the fiscal year after the company has more clarity regarding the impact of COVID-19.

“The decision to furlough associates was extremely difficult, but it was necessary in order to protect the business during this unprecedented period of disruption. We look forward to welcoming our associates back once we are able to reopen our stores and operations,” O’Sullivan stated further.

As previously announced, the company has suspended its share buyback program and continues to carefully reduce inventory receipts, manage working capital prudently including delaying payables, cut capital expenditures, work closely with landlords on the timing of rent payments, and aggressively reduce operating expenses during this period.

In separate statements, Burlington Stores said it had commenced a private offering of $300 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes due 2025. Burlington Stores also announced that it has commenced a private offering of $700 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2025. The retailer intends to use the net proceeds from the offering of the Notes for general corporate purposes.

Photo courtesy Burlington