NEW YORK, United States — Macy’s Inc. plans to reopen dozens of its US stores on Monday as the first wave of retailers prepares to get back to business after a mass shutdown of American shopping.
The department store chain will resume operations at 68 locations in states that have loosened lockdown measures put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, Macy’s confirmed on Thursday. The retailer has more than 750 stores across the US that have all been closed since mid-March, though e-commerce remained open.
Management has set a preliminary timeline for reopening the rest of Macy’s store network, with a second set of locations set to open on May 11. The company, which also owns Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, expects to have all its stores back open by mid-June. This, of course, depends on authorisation from state and local governments and a decline in infection rates.
The first batch of stores to open will be in Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Oklahoma. The reopened stores won’t be the same as before, however: Barriers will be erected at cash registers, most fitting rooms will be shut, the beauty department will be no-touch and customers will have to cleanse their hands with sanitiser before trying on jewellery.
Jeff Gennette, chief executive, told Dow Jones in an interview that he was not sure how customers would respond. He said he expects the stores that come back first to do less than a fifth of their normal sales volume at first.
The first week of May is shaping up as a vital test for American retailers whose sales have been devastated by the prolonged shutdown. Simon Property Group Inc., America’s largest mall operator, is set to reopen many of its properties on Monday. Belk Inc. and Chico’s FAS Inc. are also planning to reopen soon as well.
By Kim Bhasin