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Nordstrom to lay off workers as coronavirus continues to take toll

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Nordstrom to lay off workers as coronavirus continues to take toll

Charisse Jones
USA TODAYPublished 10:33 PM EDT Jul 30, 2020Nordstrom says that it will lay off some employees, as its sales struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has dampened consumer spending and battered the U.S. economy.”While our hope was to bring back every one of our employees as our stores reopened,” the retailer said in a statement Thursday, “based on our needs today, and what we anticipate our needs being in the future, we must adjust the size of our store sales force.”Nordstrom did not specify how many positions would be cut.  The retailer shuttered its storefronts in mid-March, as Americans hunkered down at home and businesses closed throughout the U.S. to slow the spread of the coronavirus.Even though many of its employees have since been able to return to work, “COVID-19 has had an impact on our business,” Nordstrom said. The company has also cut the pay of many executives and adjusted payment terms for its suppliers to weather the current downturn.Retail has been particularly hard hit during the pandemic as storefronts tentatively reopen and wary consumers watch their budgets at a time when millions of Americans have lost their jobs.Chains like J.C. Penney, already struggling with listless sales and shrinking foot traffic amid competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon were knocked over the edge after they were forced to temporarily close stores in the spring. Ascena Retail Group, Lucky Brand, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and J.C. Penney are among the retailers who have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since May.Unemployment claims continue to climb: More Americans file for unemployment as extra $600 benefit ends and COVID-19 surgesUS hits grim record: US economy contracted record 32.9% in Q2 amid state shutdowns, COVID-19 contagion fearsAs many as 25,000 stores could close this year as the sector struggles to regain its footing amid the ongoing health crisis, according to a recent report from Coresight Research.Walmart said Thursday that it was also “streamlining some roles,” though it attributed the cuts to ongoing efforts to become a more nimble organization.Because of “the economic uncertainty from this unprecedented pandemic,” Walmart said, employees who are let go will be paid through the end of the fiscal year. And the company is also “creating new roles, particularly in our supply chain, in our stores and in other facilities which will open up new opportunities.”  Follow Charisse Jones on Twitter @charissejones

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