All of CarMax's 217 stores in the U.S. were open in some capacity as of Wednesday, May 13. But at one point, during the spread of the coronavirus, nearly half were shuttered or running with limited operations.
Last month, the company said it would furlough some 15,500 employees. At the same time, CarMax said CEO Bill Nash would have his salary cut in half, effective immediately, and each member of the company's senior leadership team would take a pay reduction until further notice.
CarMax also implemented a hiring freeze, began reducing inventory levels and slashing marketing outlays and halted store openings and remodels. The largest used-vehicle retailer in the U.S. had planned to open 13 stores in its current fiscal year, ending Feb. 28, 2021, and a similar number of locations in fiscal 2022.
CarMax has been gradually deploying its online omnichannel retail experience, geared toward allowing customers to shop for vehicles when and how they want. But the pandemic led the company to accelerate the rollout of the most relevant aspects of the program, such as online sales and curbside pickup.
CarMax reported record sales and earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year, ended Feb. 29. That momentum carried into the first week of March before business fell off dramatically, Nash said in an earnings call April 2.