Popular clothing stores close due to virus

David Jones will keep its larger stores open despite other clothing retailers temporarily closing.
David Jones will keep its larger stores open despite other clothing retailers temporarily closing.

Retailers Country Road, Mimco, Politix, Trenery and Witchery will close their doors as the spread of coronavirus leaves many shoppers confined to their homes.

The stable of retailers, owned by South African company Woolworths Holdings, announced the temporary closure of stores until further notice on Saturday.

Department store David Jones, which is also owned by Woolworths, will continue to operate its larger stores.

"As a heritage Australian brand, we recognise that we have an important role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19," Country Road Managing Director Elle Roseby said in a statement posted online.

"This is a decision that has not been made lightly, and one we feel is necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of our team, customers and wider community."

Ms Roseby said County Road was working with all team members affected by the closures and are "exploring the best ways to offer our support in the coming weeks".

"Our teams have shown nothing but dedication and professionalism during these difficult few weeks, and we will do everything we can to bring them back together once these hard times pass," she said.

All the brands will continue to trade online.

The closures follow an announcement by competitor Myer on Friday that it would shut its shops from Sunday night for at least four weeks.

Cotton On Group will also shut all its Australian stores from Sunday.

The Geelong-based company owns brands including Cotton On, Cotton on Body, Factorie, Rubie Shoes and Supre and operates more than 650 stores across the country.

It is understood the brand will redeploy some staff to work at Aldi and Woolworths supermarkets during the closure, which is indefinite.

Specsavers also announced it will stand down all of its retail workers from midnight Sunday to April 30 and will remain open only for urgent optical and audiology services.

Australian Associated Press