Macy’s (M) announced plans to reopen 68 of its stores less than a week from now in states that have loosened social distancing restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
During a Thursday morning webcast, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told analysts and investors that the company’s stores in Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Tennessee – where governors are easing Covid-19 social distancing mandates – will reopen on a limited basis Monday, with hours of operation between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Gennette said he expects that all 775 Macy’s stores will be back up and running six weeks from now – as long as coronavirus infection rates continue to dwindle and state and local governments permit stores to reopen.
Macy’s is taking a phased approach to reopening, with about 50 additional stores set to open on May 11, according to Gennette.
The company is also making many changes to its shopping experience to promote customer and employee safety amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, according to documents obtained by CNN Business. Customers won’t be allowed to try on certain clothing items, including dress shirts and bras. “Spa-like” services will also be suspended.
Signs instructing customers to remain six feet apart will be posted throughout stores and stores will provide hand sanitizer for employees and customers. Customers will be required to use hand sanitizer before trying on watches and jewelry.
Acrylic glass will be installed at cash registers and employees will be required to wipe down keypads after each use.
There will also be fewer fitting rooms available for use. High traffic areas, including elevators, display cases and fitting rooms, will be cleaned more frequently. Employees will be required to hold onto products that have been left at the register and clothing items that have been tried on for 24 hours before returning them to the sales floor.
“We have a path to get through this and I’m committed to it,” Gennette said during the call.
In March, Macy’s furloughed most of its 125,000 employees nationwide, joining other brick-and-mortar retailers conducting mass layoffs after state and local officials issued orders forcing many physical stores to close to limit the rapid spread of Covid-19.