U.S. markets closed

Under Armour closes all U.S. stores amid coronavirus, joining Nike and others

Daniel Roberts
Editor-at-Large

Under Armour on Sunday evening announced it will close all 188 of its company stores in North America from March 16 through March 28 as a precaution amid the global spread of coronavirus.

The move follows the same announcement from Nike earlier on Sunday morning.

Under Armour says that all retail store employees will still get paid while stores are closed.

“We continue to offer work from home and flexible attendance options and have implemented enhanced cleanliness and sanitation steps in both our corporate offices and distribution centers to further protect our teammates,” the company said in a statement. “We are monitoring the situation globally, and closure decisions are being made on a country-by-country basis as necessary to protect our teammates and customers. We welcome customers to continue to visit UnderArmour.com.”

A Chinese tour guide leads a tour group past a store from American sportswear retailer Under Armour at an outdoor shopping area in Beijing, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. A Chinese trade envoy said Tuesday that talks with Washington are impossible while the United States "holds a knife" to Beijing's neck by imposing tariff hikes. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Under Armour and Nike are on a rapidly-growing list of retail chains that have temporarily shut a large number of their stores due to the virus, including Apple, Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie, Patagonia, Walmart, Publix, and Kroger.

The leading sports apparel giants all expect to be hit hard in Q1 and perhaps into Q2 from the virus, particularly because they source so many of their goods from China. Under Armour initially warned of a $60 million hit to its Q1 revenue due to the virus, while Adidas last week warned of a much bigger $1 billion hit to its China sales in Q1.

For Under Armour the spread of coronavirus, labeled by many a “black swan” event, comes at a particularly unlucky time. The company had already been struggling for more than two years even before coronavirus, with sales continually declining in its home market of North America; Asia had been a silver lining for the brand’s sales growth. Founder and longtime CEO Kevin Plank stepped down at the end of 2019, and former Aldo Group CEO Patrik Frisk took the reins in January.

On the company’s Q4 2019 earnings call, Frisk declared, “I’m not satisfied with where we are today.”

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.

Read more from Yahoo Finance about coronavirus and sports:

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

Coronavirus hits sports: March Madness canceled; NBA, MLS, NHL seasons suspended

Coronavirus is stoking fears of Tokyo Olympics cancellation

Nike warns coronavirus will have ‘material impact’ on its China business

HSBC downgrades Nike on coronavirus fears

Under Armour warns of coronavirus impact in China, analyst says it has ‘peaked’ in America