Local ShoppingPatagonia to close stores, give employees paid week off for the holidays

Patagonia to close stores, give employees paid week off for the holidays

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Patagonia employees in the U.S. and Canada will get a paid week off to end the year again.

The nearly 50-year-old privately held outdoor apparel retailer also closed its U.S. and Canadian stores, warehouses and offices last year during the week between Christmas and the New Year and gave employees paid time off.

“We’re doing it again this year,” CEO Ryan Gellert wrote on LinkedIn Wednesday.

“Our North [American] stores, customer service operations and warehouse will be closed from December 25 through January 1 because we believe in providing quality of life for our people,” said Gellert. “I want to thank Patagonia’s incredible employees for an amazing year of working to save our home planet, and I want to thank our nonprofit partners and customers for their continued support and friendship.”

The decision to repeat the end-of-year break drew widespread praise on the social media platform.

“A week off at the end of the year is unheard of in retail. Patagonia is yet again a leader in quality of life areas for employees!” one person wrote. “It feels like ‘time off’ is one of the most valued things an organization can give to an employee,” another said.

“A nice example for other leading brands to follow, bravo,” added another commenter.

Patagonia lists a little under 40 U.S. stores on its website and says it has 70 stores worldwide. In addition to North America, the company also has offices or operations in the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Chile and Argentina. It operates two distribution centers.

Patagonia also made news in September when the company restructured, transferring ownership of the business to two newly created entities.

Founder Yvon Chouinard transferred 98% of Patagonia’s non-voting stock to the Holdfast Collective, an environmental nonprofit. The remaining 2% of voting stock went to the Patagonia Purpose Trust. That organization works to ensure that Patagonia honors its commitment to running the business in a socially responsible manner. 

The New York Times valued the ownership transfer at $3 billion for Patagonia’s Chouinard, his wife and two adult children. The Times reported the company sells more than $1 billion in merchandise annually. 

“We’ll be back at work and recharged on January 2, ready to ship the orders, help exchange unwanted gifts and repair clothing that was broken while people were outside having fun,” Gellert said. “Until then, seasons greetings to you and yours.”

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