Premier Investments closes Smiggle and other stores, impacting 9,000 employees

© Provided by The Motley Fool Sorry we’re closed sign hanging in a shop window

The Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) share price is storming higher on Thursday despite the release of a disappointing announcement.

At the time of writing the retail conglomerate’s shares are up over 5% to $10.82.

What did Premier Investments announce?

Premier Investments has become the latest company to stand down its employees in response to the escalating COVID-19 outbreak.

This follows moves by Accent Group Ltd (ASX: AX1), Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV), and Mosaic Brands Ltd (ASX: MOZ) this week.

The company explained: “As a result of the escalating COVID-19 outbreak, the Australian Government and the various Australian State Governments have requested that everyone stay at home other than in certain limited circumstances.”

“Premier Investments Limited supports the position of the Prime Minister, the State Premiers and Chief Medical Officers that all Australians must do everything they can to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the various protective measures issued by the National Cabinet.

These extraordinary steps have been deemed necessary by governments to limit the spread and minimise the impact of the pandemic,” it added.

Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world

When is Premier Investments closing stores?

Premier Investments will temporarily close all retail stores in Australia from 6pm (local time) on March 26 until 9am (local time) on April 22.

This follows similar decisions the company has been forced to take in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Republic of Ireland.

Globally these closures will impact over 9,000 of its employees.

Premier Retail CEO, Mark McInnes, has voluntarily decided to work from home without pay or any other entitlements for the period of the shutdown.

In addition to this, the entire Just Group executive team have been stood down and have agreed to work from home when required with either no pay or reduced leave entitlements.