How To Trade Coronavirus - Marriott [MAR] Edition 17 March 2020

"Take good care of your employees, and they'll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back."
--JW Marriott

COVID-19 has led to a rash of job losses across multiple industries. According to a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, about 18% of Americans say they've experienced layoffs or have had their hours cut due to the pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins, there are 189,452 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 7,505 deaths globally.

Hotel chain Marriott International is beginning to furlough thousands of its workers amid an enormous industry downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Points:

  • Marriott International operates over 7,000 properties across 30 different brands and 131 countries.
  • Furloughed staff, which includes workers like housekeepers and general managers but not corporate-level employees (of course), won’t be paid during this period but will retain their healthcare benefits.
  • According to a Marriott spokesperson, “many” of its furloughed staff are expected to return when the virus is contained, which some sources suggest may not be until the middle or end of the summer.
  • In late February, the company disclosed that it would close 90 of its 375 China-based hotels and estimated it could lose $25 million per month in fee revenue. And the pandemic has become more of a global crisis since that disclosure.
  • In Boston, Marriott had to shut down its Long Wharf hotel after an employee tested positive for the virus; the building hosted a Biogen conference that resulted in many more cases of the coronavirus.
From a company statement to media outlets: “As travel restrictions and social distancing efforts around the world become more widespread, we are experiencing significant drops in demand at properties globally with an uncertain duration. We are adjusting global operations accordingly, which has meant either reduction in hours or a temporary leave for many of our associates at our properties. Our associates will keep their health benefits during this difficult period and continue to be eligible for company-paid free short-term disability that provides income protection should they get sick.”