In these uncertain times, we continue to keep you and our associates at the heart of every decision we make. We are closely evaluating this fluid situation and following guidance from public health officials and government agencies to inform difficult but important decisions. To that end, I’d like to share an update on how we are continuing to adapt in order to protect your health & safety.
Our stores will remain temporarily closed until the time when we can safely reopen. As this situation is ever-changing, it’s difficult to predict when that day will be. Because of this, with thoughtful consideration, we have decided to transition many of our store and salon associates to temporary furlough beginning April 19. We know this action has great impact on our talented, dedicated associates who are the heart of our company. Furloughed associates are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits, which were recently increased with the passing of the federal CARES Act.
We look forward to the time when we can safely welcome associates back to our stores and until then, we will do all we can to make sure they are supported. This includes support through the Ulta Beauty Associate Relief Program, which is part of the Ulta Beauty Charitable Foundation. The program provides monetary grants to associates facing personal hardships; we recently expanded grant criteria to include those in need of assistance due to a personal hardship as a result of a COVID-19. We are very proud of what this program has done for associates in the past and how it helps us take good care of each other today and in the future.
Our store closure reflects our responsibility to help protect the health and wellbeing of you, our associates, and the communities we serve. Until it is safe to enjoy the in-store experience again, we invite you to shop at ulta.com or on the Ulta Beauty app.
As you place orders, our associates in the Ulta Beauty distribution centers are working hard to get your orders filled, out the door, and to your homes safely. In recognition of their continued commitment to our essential operations, we recently shared that associates actively working at our distribution centers are receiving a $2-per-hour wage premium. To protect these associates, we have elevated our already high levels of sanitation and safety, including social distancing and increased cleaning protocols in alignment with guidelines from the CDC.
I want you to know that we will press forward with careful consideration at every turn. We will stay true to our company values with continued optimism for the time when we can safely welcome you and all of our associates back to Ulta Beauty. Until then, let’s take good care of each other.
CEO, Ulta Beauty