In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Unclaimed Baggage closed its retail store at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
A reopening date will be determined based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governor’s office.
“Like so many stores nationwide that have temporarily closed due to the rapidly evolving impact of the virus, we are taking this unprecedented step for the health and wellbeing of our staff and guests,” said CEO Bryan Owens, who has suspended his own personal salary.
During the closure, adjustments will be made, including the furlough of many of the retail and operations staff. It is the first-time team members have been furloughed in the company’s 50-year history. Furloughed employees will receive accrued PTO, payment of health insurance premiums and additional stipends to help with groceries and other bills.
In addition, Unclaimed Baggage has accelerated its Reclaimed for Good philanthropic initiatives for the entire community, partnering with organizations and churches to provide resources for families and the elderly in need.
Unclaimed Baggage had been hiring additional team members to prepare for its 50th Anniversary 50 State Road Tour, which was scheduled to launch last weekend.
Even after these plans were postponed earlier this month, the store fought to remain open. The company readjusted its staffing levels, instituted CDC- recommended health and sanitization measures, and rearranged inventory racks, customer service areas and check-out procedures to allow recommended social distancing.
“We are fortunately just days away from launching the much-anticipated debut of our Unclaimed Baggage e-commerce store through our website, www.unclaimedbaggage.com,” Owens said. “This online store will give customers from all across the country the chance to shop for unclaimed treasures and will allow us to keep a portion of our staff working even while the retail store is closed.”