News Coronavirus Jewellery chain Michael Hill closes stores, workers stood down

Jewellery chain Michael Hill closes stores, workers stood down

michael hill jeweller coronavirus
The jeweller will close its bricks-and-mortar stores but its online business will continue. Photo: ABC
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Jewellery chain Michael Hill is closing its Australian stores indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges on Tuesday, Michael Hill International said local workers would be stood down and given access to leave entitlements.

It said federal government social-distancing rules were not consistent with the day-to-day conduct of its business.

Michael Hill has also suspended its New Zealand and Canadian stores. Its online business will continue.

The company will defer payment of an interim dividend.

Michael Hill has about 1600 staff in Australia in head office and its retail stores.

The jeweller has 304 stores across Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The company’s global headquarters, including its wholesale and manufacturing divisions, are in Brisbane.

Last year, the company admitted it underpaid staff by up to $25 million in Australia.

On Monday, fashion and swimwear brand Tigerlily entered voluntary administration.

Administrator KordaMentha said the decision was made after considering the impact of the coronavirus.

Tigerlily employs 200 people and some shops will stay open as the administrators look for a buyer.

The firm was founded by former model and businesswoman Jodhi Meares, a former wife of billionaire James Packer.