The Macy’s company will reopen 68 stores Monday in states that have loosened coronavirus lockdown measures, the department store operator announced Thursday.
“Cincinnati, Ohio-based Macy’s, the largest U.S. department store operator by sales, said it expects to have all of its roughly 775 stores reopened in six weeks, if infection rates taper off as projected and state and local governments allow it,” according to Reuters.
About 50 more stores were scheduled to reopen on May 11, the report noted.
Major changes were made inside the company’s stores during the shutdown to relieve those worried about the virus.
“For instance, the number of fitting rooms offered to shoppers at one time will be reduced and sanitized frequently. Plexiglas will be at each cash register, signs will alert shoppers to keep 6 feet apart, beauty consultations will be ‘no-touch’ only, and more,” the article continued.
In addition, the stores will only be open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
In a COVID-19 Business Update document posted Thursday, Macy’s said that prior to reopening, employees will go through additional training focused on customer safety, colleague safety, and store environment safety.
“We are creating an environment that enables our customers and colleagues to shop and work with safety, confidence and peace of mind,” page ten of the document reads.
In March, department store clothing and accessories sales dropped by more than half, and the numbers were expected to be worse in April due to the lockdowns, AFP reported.
“Once anchor tenants of shopping malls and showcases for the latest fashion trends, analysts now wonder if there’s any way for US department stores to survive the pandemic’s unprecedented business disruptions,” the article reads.
However, keeping their doors closed was not helping retailers or malls because they did not have the money to last much longer, said Forrester Research retail analyst Sucharita Kodali.
“Opening them may help to salvage some sales especially so long as they can generate more revenue than their labor costs,” Kodali concluded.