is winners open today

People in Canada are criticizing Winners and Michaels for staying open amid the COVID-19 pandemic

While most stores, restaurants and other non-essential businesses across Canada have made the wise decision to close in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, social media users in Canada are putting those who remain open on blast. 

TJX, the company that owns Winners, Homesense and Marshalls in Canada in addition to T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Sierra in the U.S., has yet to close their stores in both countries, though they're reducing store hours starting today. 

"We will also modify hours and close stores accordingly based on guidance from government officials and health authorities," reads a letter from the company.

"We greatly value our Associates and at this time, plan to pay Associates for up to two weeks in case they are unable to work as a result of TJX needing to close a store or office due to COVID-19 or if they are directed by a Department of Public Health or TJX to self-quarantine."

But employees of the company have taken to social media to criticize the company for keeping stores open and putting them at risk. 

Someone even started an online petition — which has garnered 288 signatures to date — in an attempt to get them to close. 

"TJX Stores remain open during this pandemic putting employees at risk and not caring about customers," reads the description of the petition. 

"Non essential goods are sold at these stores and they refuse to close. Their response was to cut hours to the busiest times. Shut down the stores and pay your workers!"

Some are also trying to get the company to shut down their distribution centres for the sake of employees. 

Craft store Michaels is in a similar boat, as the company has yet to close stores despite selling non-essential products. 

"We are increasing the cleaning of cashier and framing counters, store classrooms, shopping cart handles, door handles, bathrooms, breakrooms and other high-traffic and high-touch areas," reads a letter about the company's response to COVID-19.

"We have also developed dedicated communication channels to share information and preventative guidelines with our Team Members."

And though the letter notes that employees at the company's corporate office have the option to work from home, those who work in stores must continue to go to work and put themselves at risk. 

"Just wondering why you guys are STILL OPEN NORMAL HOURS during a literal pandemic, putting your predominantly 50+ staff at risk when the rest of the country is shutting down???" reads a tweet from one Twitter user who accused the company of trying to capitalize on an emergency. 

Provinces across the country are gradually ordering all non-essential businesses to close in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, but it seems some companies are simply slow to get with the program. 

Lead photo by

Mike Mozart

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