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Clothing rental service Rent the Runway lays off workers amid coronavirus outbreak

FILE PHOTO: A person moves through clothing in the storage area at Rent the Runway’s “Dream Fulfillment Center” in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) – U.S. clothing rental firm Rent the Runway said on Saturday it had laid off retail employees following temporary store closures amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

“Like many businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rent the Runway has had to make some difficult decisions in the short term to thrive in the long term which include temporary store closures and retail role eliminations,” a company spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on Saturday.

“We are striving to make this transition as seamless as possible for our employees, from compensation to continuation of health insurance coverage,” it said, adding that it did not know for how long its business would be impacted.

The statement did not mention the number of roles being eliminated.

The New York-based company was valued at about $1 billion as of late last year.

The layoffs were reported earlier by technology news website The Verge, which said that employees were told about the job cuts on Friday in a meeting conducted via video conference.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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