What happened

Shares of the TJX Companies (TJX 0.57%) were moving higher on Wednesday after the consumer discretionary company announced new measures to conserve cash while its stores are closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

As of 3:15 p.m. EDT, shares of the company, the corporate parent of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and other off-price store chains, were up about 6.3% from Tuesday's closing price.

So what

In a Form 8-K regulatory filing made after the market closed on Tuesday, TJX said it will furlough most of the employees of its stores and distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada as of April 12. Employees who are eligible for benefits will continue to receive them while furloughed, at no cost. The company said it will take "comparable actions" for its employees working outside of those two countries, and it will reduce executives' pay until at least July 4. 

TJX employed about 286,000 people as of February 1, many of whom are part-time workers. The majority of its stores, about 3,300, are in the United States. 

The TJX logo on a red background

Image source: TJX Companies.

In a letter to employees and shareholders, CEO Ernie Herman said the extraordinary conditions of the pandemic have forced "decisions we would never want to make." 

"We are making every effort to prepare for reopenings, as soon as we believe we can operate safely in the communities we serve," Herman wrote. 

Now what

Herman and his team have historically been good about communicating developments to shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders. I expect that to continue as the world works through the coronavirus pandemic. 

In any event, the next formal update from the company will come no later than May 19, when TJX reports earnings for the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year.