Myer is keeping its stores closed until at least May 11, as government stay-at-home orders roll on

Myer will stay closed for some more time. (Photo credit: Chris Putnam/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Myer is extending its temporary store closures until at least May 11 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer had initially announced the closure of its physical stores for four weeks – from March 29 until April 27 – with its online business remaining open. It also stood down around 10,000 of its workers.

However, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing continued social distancing measures for another four weeks, calling on Aussies to only leave home for essential reasons, Myer decided to extend its store closures.

Myer CEO John King said in a statement the decision to extend its store closures was “extremely tough”.

“It is reflective of our continuing focus on operating our business in a manner that protects the health and wellbeing of customers and team members, whilst supporting the government efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 through stay at home directions and other social distancing measures,” he said.

Myer’s online business, however, has been performing well since the stores closed. This was boosted by Myer’s Easter Treats sale which saw overall online purchases rise 800%. As a result of the company’s online success, Myer was able to rehire 2000 stood-down staff to handle orders.

But most of Myer’s workers will remain stood down, with the company also signing up for the Job Keeper program.

The retailer is going to continue monitoring government measures and aims to reopen its stores “as soon as possible”.

“Our plans for reopening our physical stores are well advanced and we look forward to welcoming customers back into stores, when it is safe to do so,” King said in a statement.