Inside INdiana Business

Vera Bradley temporarily closes stores

Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Inc. (Nasdaq: VRA) says e-commerce has climbed 99% compared to Q2 of 2019.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Inc. (Nasdaq: VRA) has closed all of its full-line and factory stores as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The company has also postponed its annual outlet sale, which is typically held in April in Fort Wayne.

The temporary closure is set to run through April 2. Vera Bradley says all store associates will be compensated through that date.

“The physical health and financial well-being of our associates and customers are our top priorities,” said Rob Wallstrom, chief executive officer of Vera Bradley. “With this in mind, and as result of the rapidly intensifying COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken several actions.” 

Vera Bradley says its online operations will continue. Wallstrom says the company is confident in its financial situation as the pandemic continues.

“Our balance sheet is solid.  At February 1, 2020, we had cash, cash equivalents and investments of $73.8 million and no debt. However, as a precaution against the uncertainties ahead, we have drawn $60 million of our $75 million asset-based revolving credit agreement to increase our cash position and provide additional flexibility.” 

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The company’s board of directors has also approved temporarily suspending its share repurchase program.