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Macy’s says it plans to have all of its stores reopened in 6 weeks

Pedestrians pass in front of a Macy’s Inc. store in the Midtown neighborhood of New York, U.S., on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Macy’s is planning to reopen 68 department stores Monday, in states including South Carolina and Georgia, where local governments are loosening lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. 

It expects to have all of its roughly 775 stores reopened in six weeks, should Covid-19 infection rates taper off, and local governments allow retailers to proceed, a spokeswoman confirmed to CNBC. 

A second wave of roughly 50 stores is scheduled to reopen May 11. Macy’s, which also owns Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, said it has been offering curbside pickup at roughly 20 Macy’s locations for the past week, in a bid to drive some sales. 

The 68 Macy’s stores set to reopen soonest will be operating on reduced hours, from 11 am to 7 pm. About 25{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} of these locations are in Simon Property Group’s malls. CNBC first reported 49 of Simon’s malls and outlet centers are set to reopen as soon as this Friday. 

Macy’s will also take a number of other precautions to try to make its workers and customers feel safe, and to enforce social distancing. 

Workers will be asked to take their temperatures before they come in, and be mandated to wear masks in stores. 

The retailer will only have open a few fitting rooms at once. Any items tried on by customers will be held for 24 hours before going back to racks. Returned items will also be held for 24 hours. 

All of Macy’s stores have been shut since March 18. 

CNBC previously reported that the retailer was weighing raising as much as $5 billion in debt to weather the coronavirus crisis. It had been looking to use some of its real estate and inventory as collateral. It has been strained for liquidity with its sales falling off a cliff due to the widespread store closures. 

Macy’s on March 20 said it had fully drawn its $1.5 billion revolving credit facility. It also furloughed the majority of its 130,000 workers. 

Still, even as Macy’s reopens, it remains unclear how quickly consumers will want to get back to the mall. Or how much they want to spend. 

A little over 45{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} of consumers expect to avoid shopping centers and malls even after the lockdown ends, according to a study by Coresight Research. More people will avoid malls than movie theaters or public transportation, it said. 

Starting Friday, Kate Spade and Coach owner Tapestry will reopen roughly 40 shops in North America for curbside pickup, Tapestry said when it reported earnings Thursday morning. It plans to used a phased-in approach to bring shoppers back to stores, and it will provide gloves and masks to store workers. 

Macy’s shares were up less than 1{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in premarket trading Thursday. The stock has fallen roughly 64{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} this year. Macy’s has a market cap of $1.9 billion. 

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Macy’s reopening strategy

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