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Bose workers furloughed; layoffs possible

The Framingham audio company says the coronavirus shutdown has hurt its business

A Bose portable speaker.
A Bose portable speaker.Bose/Handout

Bose Corp. has furloughed an undisclosed number of employees because of declining business, closures at some of its locations, and financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis, the Framingham company said in a memo obtained by the Globe.

The four-week unpaid furloughs began last week. The company said that if its facilities are unable to reopen at the end of the furlough period, some employees will be laid off.

“While the company hopes that our self-isolation efforts will stop the spread of COVID-19 and allow for a turnaround before the end of the furlough period . . . furlough cannot extend indefinitely,” the memo said. “At the end of the furlough period, the company will extend severance offers to employees who are unable to return to work.”

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Bose did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bose had already been downsizing — not because of COVID-19, but because of a change in consumer buying trends. In January, the privately held company announced plans to shutter all of its US stores, shifting its focus to online shopping.

The company mainly sells audio equipment, including headphones and portable speakers.


Anissa Gardizy can be reached at anissa.gardizy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @anissagardizy8.