B8ta this week announced that it is laying off over half of its corporate employees, according to a statement sent to Retail Dive. Remaining employees will receive pay cuts.
Additionally, the company is furloughing its retail employees. Women's Wear Daily reported that the decision impacts around 250 workers.
B8ta previously guaranteed pay from March 15-28, and is adding a one-time relief check of $1,000 for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees.
B8ta is the latest company to see its business dramatically impacted as the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds. Other retailers, like Designer Brands, Pier 1 and Nordstrom have also announced furloughs and reduced pay for remaining staff this week.
"We've had to take some really difficult steps to give b8ta the possibility to reopen, provide employment to you and others in the future, and ultimately thrive," b8ta CEO Vibhu Norby wrote in a statement.
Before the coronavirus outbreak upended the retail sector, b8ta worked with Tru Kids to open new Toys R Us stores last summer and raised $50 million in funding from Macy's and various other investors in November. B8ta, which describes itself as a retail-as-a-service company, also expanded its reach from tech products into fashion and lifestyle last fall.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many retailers to temporarily shutter their physical locations, while essential retailers like grocery stores and pharmacies have had to cope with increased demand.
As consumers shift their spending online, Amazon is experiencing a rise in out-of-stock items. But even with the increase in online shopping, consumers are concerned about buying counterfeit goods, a problem that e-commerce platforms like eBay and Amazon have been combating long before the coronavirus pandemic.
For retailers selling apparel and non-essential items, the fallout could be especially brutal. A report from Coresight estimates that more than 15,000 stores might permanently close this year, some of which are accelerated due to the COVID-19 outbreak.