Canada Goose (GOOS -3.39%) was flying high last year when it reported in May 2019 that fiscal-year 2019 sales increased 41%. Sales growth slowed sequentially through the company's most recent earnings report on Feb. 7, 2020 but still remained strong. But as the COVID-19 outbreak spread, Canada Goose closed all of its retail stores in North America and Europe beginning on March 17, 2020.
The company now has permanently eliminated 125 positions, or 2.5% of its workforce, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The luxury retailer said that laid-off employees will receive severance packages and extended benefits, along with perks including keeping work computers and phones, according to the report.
Last month, Canada Goose said that it would take advantage of the factory downtime to help frontline healthcare workers during the ongoing pandemic crisis. It said it reopened all eight of its Canadian manufacturing plants to produce personal protective equipment (PPE), utilizing 900 employees.
The company said it had contracts to produce up to 1.5 million gowns for healthcare workers across Canada. It had already committed to producing gowns and scrubs at no charge. It also said that any "unintentional profits, potentially derived from efficiencies" would be donated to COVID-19 relief funds.
In its latest earnings report, the company said strong international growth in Asia, where revenue doubled, was mainly responsible for total sales growth of 13%. But the company said the current fiscal fourth quarter is being impacted materially, and lowered guidance for fiscal 2020 as it's seeing a "sharp decline in customer traffic and purchasing activity." It said at the time of that report on Feb. 7, 2020, that it believes the change in consumer behavior would be temporary.