Health and nutrition retailer GNC has filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. and announced that it will close at least 29 stores in Canada as part of its restructuring. The locations of the stores that will close are:
Erin Mills Town Centre
Markham Town Centre
Cf Masonville Place
Brentwood Towne Centre
Westside Market Village
Bonnie Doon S.C.
Markham Steeles Sc
Cataraqui Town Center
St Claire & Runnymede Rd
Eagle Landing Sc
Smartcentres Corner Brook
New Sudbury Centre
Mayfair Shopping Centre
Sevenoaks Shopping Centre
Lynden Park Mall
Galeries Rive Nord
Shawnessy Town Centre
GNC said: Our business has been under financial pressure for the past several years as we have worked to pay down debt and reposition GNC to be more competitive in a challenging operating environment. We were making significant progress and were focused on refinancing the business to allow us to position ourselves for long-term growth. However, the COVID-19 pandemic created a situation where we were unable to accomplish our refinancing and the abrupt change in the operating environment had a dramatic negative impact on our business.
As a result, we felt the best opportunity for us to continue to improve our capital structure and address certain operational issues was to restructure through a Chapter 11 reorganization. This gives us the opportunity to improve our balance sheet while continuing to advance our business strategy, right-size our corporate store portfolio, and strengthen our brands to protect the long-term sustainability of our company.
Over the past year, GNC has been executing a store portfolio optimization strategy to close underperforming stores, while doubling down on our omni-channel and brand strategies to better meet consumer demand. We believe that our strategy is sound, and the success we’ve seen thus far makes us confident we’re moving our business in the right direction. The Chapter 11 process will allow us to accelerate these strategies and invest in the appropriate areas to evolve in the future, while improving our capital structure and balance sheet.
As part of our restructuring, we expect to accelerate the closure of at least 800 to 1,200 stores in our portfolio, many of which were previously announced with the process underway. By doing so, we will be exiting unfavourable lease terms burdening our business more quickly and shifting resources to our standalone store locations where we are seeing significantly more consumer foot traffic. We will communicate specific updates around potential closures as we progress in the Chapter 11 process. While select corporate stores will eventually close, we encourage you to seek out one of our other store locations in your area. Please note that even closing stores may remain open for a period of time.
The company’s retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support. Microsoft will continue to invest in its digital storefronts on Microsoft.com, and stores in Xbox and Windows, reaching more than 1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets. The company will also reimagine spaces that serve all customers, including operating Microsoft Experience Centers in London, NYC, Sydney, and Redmond campus locations. The closing of Microsoft Store physical locations will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately $450M, or $0.05 per share, to be recorded in the current quarter ending June 30, 2020. The charge includes primarily asset write-offs and impairments.
“Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter. “We are grateful to our Microsoft Store customers and we look forward to continuing to serve them online and with our retail sales team at Microsoft corporate locations.”
Since the Microsoft Store locations closed in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail team has helped small businesses and education customers digitally transform; virtually trained hundreds of thousands of enterprise and education customers on remote work and learning software; and helped customers with support calls. The team supported communities by hosting more than 14,000 online workshops and summer camps and more than 3,000 virtual graduations.
“We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere. The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months,” said Porter. “Speaking over 120 languages, their diversity reflects the many communities we serve. Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this talent pool is stronger than ever.”
The retail team members will serve consumers, small-business, education, and enterprise customers, while building a pipeline of talent with transferable skills.
“The Microsoft Store team has long been celebrated at Microsoft and embodies our culture,” said Microsoft Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan. “The team has a proven track record of attracting, motivating, and developing diverse talent. This infusion of talent is invaluable for Microsoft and creates opportunities for thousands of people.”
With significant growth through its digital storefronts, including Microsoft.com, and stores on Xbox and Windows, the company will continue to invest in digital innovation across software and hardware. New services include 1:1 video chat support, online tutorial videos, and virtual workshops with more digital solutions to come.
“It is a new day for how Microsoft Store team members will serve all customers,” said Porter. “We are energized about the opportunity to innovate in how we engage with all customers, maximize our talent for greatest impact, and most importantly help our valued customers achieve more.”
G. Brandt Meat Packers Ltd. is recalling Mini Smoked Farmer Sausage from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.
What you should do
If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.
Check to see if you have the recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, people may die.
There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.
As part of an effort to further encourage customers to use PRESTO cards, the TTC will distribute free complimentary PRESTO cards to customers this summer and fall. PRESTO encourages contactless payment methods which help reduce the spread of COVID-19. A plan is being developed to distribute these cards in areas of the city where PRESTO use is relatively low, and where customers could benefit from receiving a PRESTO card. The cards will be distributed at no charge to customers from existing stocks held by the TTC.
Pre-pandemic, the TTC averaged up to 1.8 million rides per day connecting customers to work, school, social events, and other activities. Over the last three months, with ridership down 86%, the TTC continued to carry approximately 300,000 daily revenue rides with customers making trips to access essential work, groceries, pharmacies and care. For many, public transit is the primary mode of mobility.
Cineplex is pleased to see provincial governments begin to loosen restrictions on social gatherings, which will enable it to resume measured operations at its locations of The Rec Room this week in Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. Cineplex is also working towards reopening six theatres in Alberta on June 26, 2020. In all markets where Cineplex is permitted by government and health authorities, it plans to reopen as many of its locations as it can on July 3, 2020 (or as soon thereafter as permitted by law).
It has been 3 months since Cineplex temporarily closed its network of theatres and entertainment venues in light of COVID-19 and government-imposed restrictions. During this time, Cineplex has been diligently preparing for their safe reopening with the health and safety of its employees and guests being its top priority. Cineplex has carefully reexamined all of its buildings and processes, so that when its theatres and entertainment venues reopen, it will have implemented an industry-leading program with end-to-end health and safety protocols. At Cineplex’s theatres specifically, it will also be launching reserved seating in all auditoriums across the country to ensure proper physical distancing between its guests.
Cineplex has been able to maintain connections with its guests during the period of theatre and venue closures through its online Cineplex Store, as well as the SCENE loyalty program and food offerings delivered via Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes. The company will use these communication channels to ensure that its guests are aware when theatres and other venues are reopened, and the various measures put in place to ensure their safety while enjoying a long-deserved outing.
How do you feel about going to the theatres once they open again?
Today, Starbucks announced plans to potentially close up to 200 stores in Canada over the next two years, with some of these changing locations. “We will restructure our company-operated business in Canada over the next two years, with the potential of up to 200 additional stores being closed, with some of those stores being repositioned,” the company said in its filing.
Starbucks also plans to close 400 stores over the next 18 months in the United States. The coffee chain operator said it typically closes about 100 stores per year in the Americas mostly due to lease expirations, trade-area shifts, and other market conditions.
While the company has reopened most of its stores that were temporarily shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Starbucks forecast its third-quarter revenue will plunge by as much as US$3.2 billion due to the pandemic-induced closures.
Over the next 18 months, company to accelerate expansion of convenience-led formats such as Drive-Thru, mobile order only Starbucks Pickup and curb-side pickup to meet changing customers behaviours.
Some of HomeSense and Winners locations are now open! Both stores have introduced a new shopping experience to keep you and the associates healthy and safe. Check to see if your local store is open. Keep in mind that hours may have changed.
IKEA locations in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec are now open! BC and Nova Scotia stores remain temporarily closed.
IKEA are pleased to share that they are now in the process of reopening store locations in select markets. With health and safety as our top priority, they have introduced enhanced, preventative health and safety measures across the shopping experience and operations to ensure co-workers and customers feel safe to work and shop. As a result, the IKEA Restaurant and children’s play area Småland will remain closed. The IKEA Bistro will open for takeout only in the reopened locations.
As some of the stores still remain closed, please check for regular updates on your preferred location. For customers nationwide, IKEA continues to offer contactless Curbside Click & Collect and online shopping with home delivery at IKEA.ca.
You have 365 days to return or exchange your product. To avoid long wait times, IKEA encourages customers to take advantage of its 365-day return policy and return or exchange products at a later time.
Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works announced that they will be closing hundreds of stores in Canada and the U.S. as retailers struggle amid the COV-19 pandemic.
L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, announced that approximately 250 Victoria’s Secret and 51 Bath & Body Works stores will close. The company will reportedly close 13 of its 38 Victoria’s Secret stores in Canada and 1 of its Bath & Body Works locations.
L Brands reported their total company sales declined 37% in the first quarter ending May 2. Almost all of their stores have been closed since March 17 in response to the pandemic.
Earlier this week, Pier 1 announced that they are going out of business and closing all 540 of its stores in Canada and the U.S. Earlier this month, the Canadian footwear retailer Aldo and the Canadian fashion chain Reitmans both filed for creditor protection and went into restructuring. Furthermore, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew, filed for bankruptcy.
Johnson & Johnson will stop selling its talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in Canada and the United States.
The world’s biggest maker of health-care products said the talc-based powder will still be sold in other countries such as the U.K.
“Demand for talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in North America has been declining due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising,” the company said. “Johnson & Johnson remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s baby powder…” “Decades of scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product. We will continue to vigorously defend the product, its safety, and the unfounded allegations against it and the company in the courtroom.”
Johnson & Johnson has faced thousands of lawsuits surrounding its talcum powders from people who claim it gave them cancer.
The company said its cornstarch-based baby powder will be its only offering in North America.
Walmart Canada is offering new services for some of its most vulnerable customers and those on the front lines to help everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Groceries by phone: Eligible seniors, people with disabilities and people with vulnerable health conditions can now order their groceries by phone and schedule a time for pickup or delivery with one of the Customer Service Representatives (1-800-328-0402). The new program exists in communities where Walmart offers pickup or delivery. Check if the service is available for you here.
Priority pharmacy access: Customers who are only picking up prescriptions don’t need to wait. They can call the pharmacy from outside the store and meet a pharmacy associate at the front to get further instruction.
Priority store access: Hospital workers and first responders will be given priority access to the store as another way to thank them.
Groceries to hospital staff: Walmart partnered with eleven hospitals so all their staff can have groceries delivered right to the hospital – and they’re working to expand the program.
Online grocery continues to experience very high demand. Tens of thousands of orders a day are being fulfilled, with more stores now offering pickup and delivery, and additional time slots opening up every day. Walmart knows that the wait to respond to your inquiries is longer than they’d like, so they appreciate your patience as they work through this high demand.
Safety continues to be Walmart’s number one priority. Walmart implemented even more measures to ensure the stores, services and distribution centres are as safe as possible. For example, Walmart started associate temperature and wellness checks in our distribution centres and for their drivers and are beginning to roll out the program to associates in the stores. Walmart is asking stores to encourage customers to limit entry to only one adult per family, but they really need your help to do this in order to keep your fellow customers and the associates safe. Walmart are also distributing voluntary personal protective equipment (masks and gloves) to associates and strongly recommending they wear masks while at work.
Walmart has also increased investment in their charity partners and are thrilled that the Walmart Foundation will grant their $1 million commitment to Food Banks Canada to ensure that food banks can continue their critical work. Their donation doubles the $1 million Walmart Canada shared between Food Banks and Red Cross Canada. These donations are in addition to the record 17 million meals our Fight Hunger. Spark Change campaign contributed to Food Banks Canada earlier this year.
Longo’s now requires customers to wear face masks due to COVID-19 pandemic. Guests are required to wear a mask or face covering while in the store. “As much as we want to see your smiles, as of May 4th we require Guests to wear a face mask or covering while in store. Please help do your part in keeping the community safe.”
J.Crew is filing for bankruptcy. J.Crew Group, which operates the J.Crew and Madewell brands, has become the first national US retailer to file for bankruptcy protection since the coronavirus pandemic forced a wave of store closures.
The clothing retailer said Monday that it has filed to begin Chapter 11 proceedings in federal bankruptcy court in the Eastern District of Virginia. The company also said it had reached a deal with its lenders to convert about $1.65 billion of debt into equity.
The retailer expects to stay in business and emerge from bankruptcy as a profitable company. Madewell, the fast-growing denim brand that had been slated for an IPO, will remain part of the business. “We will continue all day-to-day operations,” J.Crew Group CEO Jan Singer said in a statement.
Sales at stores and restaurants plunged in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. J.Crew, already in trouble before the pandemic and laden with debt, was acquired by TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners for $3 billion US in 2011.
A bankruptcy filing doesn’t necessarily mean a company will go out of business. Many firms use bankruptcy to shed debt and other liabilities they can’t afford while closing unprofitable operations and locations. But this is a unique time for a retail bankruptcy. Many stores have been closed by quarantines and stay-at-home orders, and some potential shoppers are nervous about venturing out to any stores that are open.