To our Gap Inc. family around the world,
We are living through one of the worst crises we have ever experienced at this company and, for most of us, in our own lifetimes. For the past 50 years, Gap Inc. has welcomed millions of customers to shop with us, and our stores have been the heart and soul of our brands. However, over the course of just 15 days, so much has changed in the face of the intensifying coronavirus pandemic.
The facts are impossible to ignore: right now, even with the majority of our Asia retail stores operating and our online business doing well, we’ve had to close 90% of our stores around the world. While we will be counting down the days until we can reopen our stores and reconnect with our teams and customers, we now know that day is further off than we had hoped.
These decisions are the hardest we’ve ever had to make as a company and, for the both of us personally, as leaders. But they are necessary to ensure we can continue to serve our customers and remain a part of the communities where we live and work for another 50 years.
To do that, we are taking the following measures to reduce expenses:
- We’ve made the painful decision to furlough the majority of our store teams in the U.S. and Canada, where stores remain closed. We’re pausing pay but continuing to offer applicable benefits until stores are able to reopen and store teams return to work.
- For our store employees in Europe and Mexico, we will work with our teams there to address pay and benefits at this time.
- While we have continued pay and benefits for those more than 80,000 employees over the past two weeks, we are now communicating these impacts to our employees and will stand ready to provide the assistance they need in the days and weeks ahead.
- We will also make the difficult but necessary reductions across our offices and headquarters over the coming weeks to more adequately reflect the needs of the current state of our business.
- Sonia and the executive leadership team as well as our Executive Chair, Bobby Martin, and the whole board will take a pay reduction.
Today we are also announcing a range of employee assistance programs and services to help ensure our teams have the resources and options to support themselves and their families:
- We are launching a new resource page to connect impacted employees with a range of programs and services, including providing furloughed employees resources to find employment through coordination with Walmart, CVS, Target, Amazon and other retailers;
- We have stood up a new Human Resources Operating Center to manage inquiries from employees and assist with their needs during this challenging time;
- Gap Foundation is also working to launch a new employee assistance program with a $1M seed fund to support team members in times of hardship and build resilience through disasters now and in the future. Once established, we will share more details and provide employees the ability to donate to this fund if they wish; and
- We are enabling impacted employees to opt-in to receive updates and communications from the company about government aid and other resources over the coming months.
Through all of this, one thing has not changed: for 50 years, Gap Inc. and our family of brands have led with our values, always keeping our people and communities at the center. As we share today’s news, know that at this very moment we have a plan ready to re-open our stores and re-hire.
We will get through this together.
Sonia & Bob