Virus shuts down BMTC
MONTREAL – Groupe BMTC, Quebec’s largest furniture, mattress and major appliance retailer, will temporarily close all 29 of its stores across the province in response to what it called “an unprecedented challenge” posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our priority during these difficult times is the health and safety of our employees and clients,” the publicly held retailer said in a statement issued late yesterday (18 March 2020). “In order to protect everyone in Quebec and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by encouraging social distancing initiatives recommended by both levels of government, we will be temporarily closing our sales network, namely our Ameublements Tanguay banner in the Quebec City area and the Brault & Martineau and EconoMax banners in the Montreal area.”
The company said its e-commerce sites remain in operation and it will continue to provide online and telephone support to customers. Its chat service can co-browse the web page the customer is viewing to help complete the selection.
“We will continue to offer our home delivery service, and our customer service will remain in operation,” the statement said.
BMTC also announced temporary layoffs affected approximately 75% of its workforce, the vast majority of whom work in the stores.
The statement didn’t say when it expects the stores to reopen.
BMTC joins a growing list of furniture, mattress and appliance retailers who have decided to close their doors to battle the current crisis. IKEA Canada, Hudson’s Bay and Williams Sonoma are the chains that have closed temporarily over the past few days.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the employees and volunteers who are working day and night and who are extremely dedicated to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to care for those who have been infected,” BMTC’s statement concluded. “Our thoughts are also with all those who are in any way affected by the virus.”
Related Story: IKEA, Hudson's Bay and others close in response to COVID-19
Related Story: HPM sets June date