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Simon Property Joins The Crowd, Furloughs 30% Of Its Workforce

Simon Property Group HQ in Indianapolis

Joining several of its commercial real estate peers in the retail sector, the largest owner of U.S. malls has furloughed about 30% of its workforce and permanently laid off another unspecified number of employees.

Indianapolis-headquartered Simon Property Group made the decision after the coronavirus pandemic temporarily shuttered all its malls, CNBC reported. The mall behemoth made the decision to close its properties on March 18, with initial plans to reopen Sunday. The continued spread of the coronavirus, however, made reopening so soon impossible.

At the end of the year, Simon had about 4,500 employees nationwide, including about 1,500 part-time workers. The furloughs reportedly will affect workers at its headquarters and across the U.S.

Simon Property Group CEO David Simon reportedly will not take a salary during the pandemic, and upper-level managers will see pay decreases of up to 30%.

The company is far from the only giant in the retail sector furloughing or laying off staff. Macy’s on Monday announced plans to furlough most of its 125,000 employees, though it said it would continue offering health coverage for furloughed employees at least through May. Kohl’s, Gap and Neiman Marcus are also among the retail leaders furloughing employees, while Walmart and Amazon are adding workers to meet increased demand.

Furloughs and layoffs have continued coming rapidly, despite the $2 trillion stimulus package signed into law last week, which includes relief for the retail industry. Real estate experts almost immediately told Bisnow the bailout was but a temporary bandage.