(CMR) Kirk Freeport, one of Cayman's largest duty free retail companies, has decided to close their duty free stores starting tomorrow March 16, 2020, in light of the recent “unprecedented events with the COVID-19 virus and cancellations of cruise ships into the Cayman Islands.
In a letter sent out to staff earlier today, they indicated that the closure of the island to cruise ships in the next 60 days and likely reduction in stayover visitors this would have a “major impact on our store operations”.
Their letter read in part:
We understand that everyone has questions during this time of uncertainty, and we assure you we will be in constant communication with you all so that everyone is informed as these changes evolve.
The Kirkconnell family and management team would have preferred to be able to speak with everyone in person, just as we did after Hurricane Ivan, but with the utmost caution in preventing large gatherings and to avoid spreading or undo exposure to the COVID-19 virus we regrettably have to communicate remotely. If anyone would like to schedule an individual phone call, please contact Lucie Whewell and we will make the time to do so during this week 345-947-7477 Ext 1205 or [email protected]
Starting Monday, March 16th the following stores will be temporarily closed:
Kirk Freeport Cardinall Avenue JS1
La Parfumerie 1
Staff members in these stores will be required to take this time as your remaining paid sick leave, followed by your accrued vacation. As we evaluate the impact over the coming weeks we will be able to determine when these stores can be reopened. Medical insurance will continue as usual during this time and we will evaluate these closures every month to determine when we can reopen.
Some office staff including IT and operations will remain. Normal operations will continue for all other stores.