How Beauty and Fashion Brands Are Responding to COVID-19


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, beauty, wellness, and fashion businesses have suspended services and in-person shopping for consumers across the globe. Retailers like Glossier, Sephora, and The Wing are taking cautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease, with all releasing statements this week on their plans moving forward.


Glossier announced today that it will be temporarily closing all retail locations in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and London for at least two weeks. The brand is also postponing the opening of Glossier Arizona, initially slated for next week. In an open letter, founder and CEO Emily Weiss addressed the temporary closing.

"We’re not alarmists, we’re realists," Weiss wrote. "While this may not be the right decision for every company, it’s the one where we feel we can make an impact. To our customers and community, remember the power of adaptability. Stay present, be responsible, and try to lean into warmth and openness when you want to close off and pull down the shades. This is a time for us to remember our humanity." Despite the shutdown, employees will be compensated.


Sephora has decided to close all North-American stores through April 3. In a statement, the brand states that corporate employees will be working from home, while retail employees will be compensated during their time off. "Following guidance from public health authorities, we understand that practicing social distancing and reducing dense public gatherings as much as possible is critically important at this time," the company wrote. "This is truly a global effort that requires all of our participation."

The Wing

The Wing will be closing all workspace locations globally through the end of March. Co-founder and COO Lauren Kassan said in a press release, "Protecting the health and safety of our both The Wing and wider community is our number one priority. With over 12,000 members globally and spaces in 7 major metropolitan cities, we have a responsibility to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our employees and members safe." Employees will be compensated without depleting accrued time off.


The sustainable fashion brand is closing its retail stores for the foreseeable future and has canceled all events and factory tours. Store employees will be given paid time off during the closure. In a statement posted to Instagram, Reformation pledged its commitment to containing the virus writing, "We are closely monitoring what's going on, and will follow recommendations from the WHO, CDC, and NHS."


The IG-famous wellness hub is closing its NYC retail locations for two weeks and will reopen "as soon as it is safe to do so." In response to the pandemic, Chillhouse has promised to double down on stress-relieving and self-care content on its social media channels and blog The Chill Times. The brand has yet to promise paid time off for retail employees but is in the process of figuring it out right now. "As a small business, we are going to do everything in our power to support our retail team during this time, and we'll have more info on how we will be doing that soon," wrote founder Cyndi Ramirez.

Urban Outfitters

All Urban Outfitters locations will be closed until further notice. The brand did not disclose if they will be providing compensation to store employees during this time. "While we work through these changes, know that we’re here to answer questions, keep you entertained, and to continue to engage with our UO Community however we can," read the caption posted on the brand's Instagram account.


The athletic wear brand is closing stores in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand through March 27. In a statement, Nike cites the "health of athletes around the world" as its top priority. A brand spokeswoman confirmed to CNBC that employees will be paid in full during this time off.


Everlane's retail stores will be closed for the next two weeks and the brand will offer compensation to retail team members during this time.


The streetwear brand announced that it will temporarily close all stores in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Japan. According to Hypebae, all affected stores put up signs stating, "We are closed temporarily to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff." It is unclear whether retail employees will be compensated during this time.


In an open letter, CEO Jane Hong announced the closing of all Paintbox locations through March 29. "All of us play a part in Paintbox and all of us play a part in the health and wellness of our world," Hong wrote. "And so in doing just that, and by practicing cautious behavior (self-quarantining, de-socializing, washing hands, etc.), we can bring us to a better end result more quickly."


The luxury conglomerate announced it will use all cosmetic and perfume factories to manufacture hand sanitizer to be donated to French health authorities and the Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris. "Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus," a statement read.


As of March 17, Nordstrom is shuttering the doors of more than 360 stores across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico for two weeks in response to the pandemic. "During this unprecedented period of uncertainty, we have in place the appropriate business continuity plans, operational framework and team," CEO Erik Nordstrom said in a statement. "This, in concert with ending 2019 with a solid financial position and healthy balance sheet, gives us the ability to weather this challenging moment in time." Store employees will receive wages and benefits during this time off.


All North American and European Lululemon stores will be closed through March 27. "We are living in uncertain times and we’re learning more about this virus every day." CEO Calvin McDonald said in a statement. "We are taking this step to help protect our global community, guests and people, and ensure we are doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19." All employees will receive payment during the closure, he said.


The clothing brand announced it will close all locations, along with Madewell stores, through March 28. Store associates will receive payment during this time off.


The Instagram-famous fitness gym is shuttering its LA and NYC locations through April 6. During this period of self-quarantine and isolation, Dogpound is offering workouts every day on their Instagram channel, geared to things that can be done at home. The online sessions will continue during this closure and will incorporate yoga and meditation. The company did not disclose if employees would be compensated.


All SoulCycle studios will close worldwide. The fitness company did not provide a projected reopening date or disclose whether employees will be compensated, but are "implementing a plan to support our teams during this time."


The brand posted a note to customers on Instagram on March 16 that they would close all 50 stores until further notice. The brand did not specify if employees will be compensated during this time but noted they will be putting a plan in action to support team members.


Kiehl's will be closing all of its stores effective immediately until further notice and said it would pay all employees during the closures. The Instagram post added, "We are encouraging our Kiehl's store teams to take this time to be with their loved ones and reconnect, while practicing social distancing."


Macy's is closing all stores through March 31, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bluemercury, Macy’s Backstage and other outlet stores. "The health and safety of our customers, colleagues and communities is our utmost priority," CEO Jeff Gennette said in a press release. "We will work with government and health officials to assess when we will reopen our stores and safely bring our colleagues back to work." Employees will receive payment and benefits during this time.

Ralph Lauren

CEO Patrice Louvet announced all North American Ralph Lauren stores will shutter through April 1. “Our number one priority is the health and well-being of our employees, our customers and the communities we serve,” Louvet said in a press release. "We will take into account the guidance of medical experts, global health organizations and governments to determine the right time to return to business location by location.” Employees will be paid during this time off.


According to WWD, Chanel is closing all U.S. stores for at least the next two weeks "in the interest of public health, and out of concern for the safety and well-being of our employees and clients." Employees will be compensated during this time.


The fast fashion giant announced on Tuesday March 17th that it would be closing all stores until April 2. In a press announcement the brand explained that "For the past couple weeks, H&M has taken additional steps in all offices, warehouses and stores including staggered work schedules, reduced opening hours, closure of fitting rooms and additional safety and cleaning steps to help protect and support employees and customers through this health crisis. H&M has also extended the return policy." However, in order to further reduce the spread of the virus it will be closing all brick-and-mortar stores until early April. Employees will be compensated with two weeks of continued pay. The brand will continue to operate at


According to WWD, The beauty company is implementing a program to create and distribute large quantities of hand sanitizer in Europe. The plan also includes supporting smaller companies who are affected by the economic fallout of COVID-19 and organizations for the disadvantaged. "In this exceptional crisis situation it is our responsibility to contribute in every possible way to the collective effort," said L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon in a statement. "Through these gestures, L’Oréal wishes to express its appreciation, support and solidarity with all those who mobilize with extraordinary courage and abnegation to fight against this pandemic."

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. is closing all stores in the U.S. and Canada until at least the end of March. WWD reports employees will be compensated during this time.

Saks Fifth Avenue

In a statement posted to Instagram, the luxury department store announced it will close all stores across the U.S. and Canada for the next two weeks. Employees will be paid this period.

Vera Wang

Vera Wang is closing all stores across the U.S. "During these uncertain times, the health and safety of our clients, team and community is of the utmost importance to us," Wang wrote in an open letter. Bridal inquiries are still operational via email. It was not disclosed if employees will be paid during this time.

Ulta Beauty

The beauty store is closing all retail locations through March 31. "We’ve been closely monitoring and making changes along the way, as we take very seriously our responsibility to help care for and protect our associates, our guests, their families, and the communities we serve," said CEO Mary Dillon in a statement. "I want to make sure that our guests and associates know there is nothing more important than our collective health and safety." Employees will receive payment and benefits during this period. will continue to update this post.

Ariana Yaptangco Social Media Editor Ariana Yaptangco oversees all #content across ELLE's social media platforms and covers fashion, beauty, and culture news.

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