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Nike is closing all its U.S. stores in response to coronavirus

Daniel Roberts

Nike (NKE) announced on Sunday that it will close all its Nike-owned stores in multiple countries around the world, including in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand from March 16 through March 27 to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Oregon-based sportswear giant said in a statement that customers will still be able to shop on Nike.com and the Nike app. 

“We are taking additional steps in other Nike-managed facilities, including the option to work from home, staggered work schedules, social distancing, and additional safety and cleaning steps to help protect and support our teammates,” the statement reads.

A Nike source tells Yahoo Finance that Nike store employees will continue to be paid during the closures. Nike has 384 retail stores in the U.S.

Not all Nike stores in the world are closed: Nike’s company-owned stores in South Korea, Japan, most of China, and in some other countries are now open and will continue their normal hours of operations. 

SHANGHAI, CHINA - 2019/09/07: Pedestrians walk past an American multinational sportswear corporation Nike store in Shanghai. (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“There will be a temporary hit to sales, although some of it will transfer to Nike.com,” Matt Powell, vice president and senior industry advisor at NPD Group, tells Yahoo Finance. Powell also tweeted that Nike’s move is “the right thing to do” and predicted that other retail chains will follow suit.

Along with Nike, all the sports apparel giants are projecting a major hit from coronavirus. Adidas on Wednesday warned of a $1 billion hit to its China sales in Q1, a far bigger hit than it previously given.

Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Sam Poser recently told Yahoo Finance that Nike is still well-positioned to weather the economic effects of the coronavirus far better than its competitors.  

“It’s one of the best companies out there,” Poser said, “and it’s got a balance sheet that’s ridiculously good.” 

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Daniel Roberts is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance who focuses on sports business. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

Reggie Wade is a writer at Yahoo Finance who focuses on the sneaker business. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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