Third of Locations Closed, Half of Staff Furloughed
Uni-Select Inc. (TSE:UNS), the parent of FinishMaster, today provided an update regarding its operations given the recent developments in the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“Our first priority is always to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our 6,000 employees and customers and this is even more true during this crisis,” stated Brent Windom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Uni-Select. “As such, we have been strictly adhering to health authorities and government guidelines, with stringent protocols for social distancing and hygiene precautions, as well as telecommuting, whenever possible. We have a responsibility to provide essential services during these difficult times, but we nonetheless expect demand to experience a marked slowdown given travel restrictions and stay at home guidelines. These are certainly exceptional times which command exceptional measures but the automotive aftermarket has been resilient in the past and we are convinced it won’t be any different this time.”
Recent state of emergency or shutdown declarations by several governments in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. are having a material impact on Uni-Select’s operations. However, in certain of those jurisdictions, some or all of Uni-Select’s operations are permitted to continue as essential services.
Uni-Select remains in operation where appropriate and permitted, and has reorganized to focus on functions that are critical to essential services leaving a limited number of sites in operation in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., whether distribution centers or corporate stores. As of this date, this reorganization has resulted in approximately 50% of employees being furloughed and 33% of the sites being temporarily closed. We also have 28% of the sites on reduced hours and 7% operating with very limited activities for the essential services.
In addition, work hours have been reduced by 20% for all employees who remain at work to support current operations and the Board of directors reduced its members’ remuneration by 25% effective from Jan 1st, 2020 until June 30, 2020.
The Corporation will continue to monitor announcements of governmental assistance programs in connection with the COVID-19 crisis, and will seek to benefit from such programs where applicable and appropriate.
Uni-Select is actively managing its liquidity and will provide an update regarding the operational and financial impacts of COVID-19 during its first quarter fiscal 2020 earnings call, to be held on May 14.