By Esther Fung
Mall giant Simon Property Group is furloughing part of its staff, adding to the growing number of companies shedding workers as businesses shut down to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The largest mall owner in the U.S., which has around 200 malls, open-air centers and shopping outlets, has closed all its U.S. properties since March 18, and retail analysts expected that a worker furlough or layoffs could follow.
As of December 31, Simon Property and its affiliates employed around 4,500 people throughout the U.S., about a third of whom were part-time employees. Around 1,000 employees were located at its corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Simon Property's share price fell 3% Tuesday. It has plunged more than 50% in March.
CNBC reported Monday that Simon Property was furloughing 30% of its staff, and had also laid off some employees. Chief executive officer David Simon won't receive a salary during the pandemic, and some upper level managers will also receive pay cuts of up to 30%, CNBC said.
Simon Property didn't respond to requests for comment.
Many mall tenants, such as Macy's Inc., Gap Inc. and Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. have furloughed thousands of workers in recent days as stores stay closed. Retail property tenants across the U.S. have said they won't be able to pay their April rent, which comes due as early as this week.
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