Bull Moose, the Maine-based chain of music and video stores, is reopening its store in Salem, New Hampshire, rehiring the employees that were laid off there three weeks ago and apologizing for its actions.

The company has not explained why it suddenly closed the store in May, but some of the fired employees said the action stemmed from Bull Moose’s decision to allow unmasked customers in the store. Employees, who said they had many heated encounters with customers over the mask mandate in the past year, said most staff opposed the decision.

Some employees also said there were other employee issues at the store, with some workers saying they were subject to harassment by customers and that managers failed to provide help.

Company officials denied that the mask issue was the catalyst for the closing, and the specifics of that decision were not explained in a statement it posted Friday on Twitter and attributed to company founder Brett Wickard.

The statement said the company prides itself on building community and acting with empathy, “yet we failed on both those counts.”

It also said all former employees of the store were offered – and accepted – their jobs back, with back pay, and said the company promoted a team member “to provide our Salem store and team the support, training and care they so deserve.” Bull Moose also it would “expand our internal dialogue” to give workers a stronger voice in workplace issues.

“Falling flat on our faces was humbling, but we’re determined to have our mistakes become a transformative event for Bull Moose,” the statement said.

This story will be updated.


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