Over the past several months, the world has felt the inconceivable impact of COVID-19. The human toll is devastating, and our hearts go out to everyone affected. Many restaurants, travel, transportation and small businesses are navigating a new reality. The retail industry has been hit hard and Levi Strauss & Co. is no exception.
Like everyone else, we do not know when it will be safe for our stores or our customers’ doors to reopen, and for our employees to return to work. Our revenue streams have shifted, and we have taken countless measures to maintain our balance sheet.
To ensure the continued health of the business, we are operating with a lean team, which means our U.S. hourly retail store employees and merchandise coordinators in wholesale will go on furlough until it is safe for them to return to work. All employees will continue their access to unemployment insurance, benefits such as our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and emergency financial assistance provided by the Red Tab Foundation. Retail employees who have healthcare benefits with the company will also retain these benefits during the furlough period.
In addition, we have decided to implement temporary salary reductions at the top of the organization including the CEO, board, Global Leadership Team and all Executive and Leader band employees. And, we are working on eliminating or reducing expenses, while collecting payments from our customers.
Our first priority will always be the safety and health of our employees and customers. This is why we closed all our owned and operated retail stores in the U.S. and Canada before it was mandated, why we paid store employees for four weeks of work during the closure and why we committed $3 million to relief efforts, with a focus on employees, community partners and supply chain workers.
As a company, we have faced challenging decisions that affect the business and the livelihood of our LS&Co. community. We are fortunate to be a company grounded in our values, which guide every decision we make. We have relied on two of our values – empathy and integrity – as we do what is best for the health and safety of our employees, the longevity of our business and the wellbeing of everyone that interacts with the Levi’s® brand.
We look forward to the time when we reopen our operations. For now, we will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.