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Lush cosmetics announces layoffs due to coronavirus pandemic

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Lush says it is laying off staff as a result of extended closures during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The beauty retailer temporarily shuttered its 258 shops across North America two weeks ago and said it would continue to pay staff.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Lush to close all 258 stores in Canada, U.S. and to slow production

The company said in a statement Saturday that it’s laying off an undisclosed number of employees as it faces a future as “a much smaller business.”

“We are retaining our retail and manufacturing managers for the duration of our closures,” said Karen and Mark Wolverton, who oversee the Lush brand in North America.

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“Where possible, we have offered temporary layoffs to their team members, allowing them to receive financial support from Lush in addition to the government relief programs. We look forward to welcoming them back once we reopen our shops and factories.”

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READ MORE: The Canada Emergency Response Benefit for COVID-19: who’s eligible and how to apply

Lush said it would retain its managers of its retail stores and manufacturing. Senior leaders had previously taken a 25 per cent salary cut, the company said.

The temporary layoffs follow announcements from other retail companies in Canada, including Reitmans and Indigo Books and Music.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Nearly 1 million Canadians applied for EI last week

The federal government said earlier this week that nearly one million Canadians have applied for employment insurance.

A new emergency benefits program has been established to help those affected.