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Kohl's announces it will close all stores until April 1 due to coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Kohl's announces it will close all stores until April 1 due to coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Kohl's Department Store in Beaver Dam (copy)

The Menomonee Falls-based Kohl's department store chain announced Thursday that because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak it is closing its more than 1,100 stores at 7 p.m. until "at least April 1."

“We will continue to serve customers on and our Kohl’s App, and we look forward to reopening our stores soon to serve families across the country," Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass said in a statement.

The company said it will provide employees with two weeks' pay during the shutdown.

Kohl's operates three stores in the Madison area — at the East, West and South Towne malls.

The company announced Monday that beginning the next day it was temporarily reducing store hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. "to ensure that all stores are well staffed and cleaned during peak times."

Kohl’s announced Feb. 12 it was laying off 250 employees as part of a reorganization that did not involve closing any of its stores or corporate offices. It had about 82,000 employees last year, according to Fortune magazine.

Kohl’s offered laid-off employees severance packages and outplacement services, Gass said.

Kohl's stock price over the last year has dropped from as high as about $75 in April to $17.18 at the market's close on Thursday.

Among the other major Wisconsin businesses to shut down in response to the new coronavirus are Wauwatosa-based Penzeys Spices and Milwaukee-based Marcus Theatres.

Madison's East and West Towne malls themselves said Tuesday they were closing in response to Gov. Tony Evers' decision to limit crowds to 10 or fewer people.

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