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Furniture chain Leon’s to lay off 3,900 workers, close 72 stores amid COVID-19 outbreak


Canadian furniture chain Leon’s will temporarily close 72 of its 205 stores across Canada and lay off 3,900 workers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Toronto-based company, which also owns furniture chains The Brick, Appliance Canada and Midnorthern Appliance, said Wednesday the temporary layoffs represent about 50 per cent of its staff.

The company said without elaborating that it will offer laid-off workers a top-up in addition to whatever they are entitled to under Employment Insurance rules.

“In addition, [Leon’s] will extend company paid benefits to these individuals,” the chain said.

A Google Street View image of the Leon’s furniture store in Bridgewater, N.S., from August 2018. The furniture chain didn’t immediately specify where layoffs will occur. (Google Street View)

The company did not specify which locations would be closed, nor did it say how many stores of each of its various retail brands would be affected.

The chain did say, however, that even stores that remain open will be on limited hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

The chain said all stores are normally fully cleaned on a daily basis anyway, but now the company will be stepping up efforts to “disinfect and sanitize all high traffic and high touch areas, such as door handles, pin pads, countertops, washrooms etc.”

The chain’s online sales operation and delivery services are functioning normally.

“We will continue to offer essential products online at Leons.ca, and we will continue to safely deliver these items to customers’ homes where permitted, president Mike Walsh said in a letter to customers.



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