Michael Hill shuts down stores in Canada

Michael Hill shuts down stores in Canada

Pursuant to public health guidance in Canada jewellery retailer Michael Hill (ASX: MHJ) will shut down its store network for a period of two weeks.

The company says it will revisit the decision and either reopen or extend store closures as necessary.

Michael Hill's Canadian workforce will take leave without pay or allow staff to take up leave entitlements during the period.

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant drop in foot traffic in each of Michael Hill's markets (Australia, New Zealand and Canada) and the company is seeing a corresponding impact on sales.

The company has so far not provided guidance on earnings for the current financial year and is now no longer in a position to make a reliable forecast.

"The Board and management team are confident that the business will be able to continue to work constructively with all of its stakeholders to navigate the uncertainties presented by the COVID-19 public health crisis," says Michael Hill CEO Daniel Bracken.

"Whilst there remain many uncertainties about the potential impact and duration of the crisis, we are focused on taking all necessary actions to reduce our costs and cash outflows so that they better match the very subdued consumer demand in all our markets."

Updated at 10:50am AEDT on 20 March 2020.

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