Macy's Inc. (M) on Monday will reopen 68 stores in states that have eased their restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, the iconic-department store retailer's chief executive said in an interview.
The Cincinnati company's shares were down 0.8% to $6.02 at last check.
CEO Jeff Gennette told Dow Jones that 68 stores would open in Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, with reduced hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Roughly a quarter of the stores are located in some of the 49 malls and outlet centers that Simon Property Group, (SPG) the country’s largest mall operator, is planning to reopen this weekend.
Among other steps, security officers and employees at the malls will “actively remind and encourage shoppers” to maintain a proper distance from others and to refrain from shopping in groups.
Food-court seating will be spaced to encourage social distancing, and reusable trays will be eliminated.
Gennette said he expected that initially, stores that reopen first would do less than a fifth of their normal sales volume.
The company will install plexiglass at cash registers and signs throughout the store will instruct shoppers to stay six feet apart.
Macy’s employees will be required to wear masks and do complete a wellness checklist, as well as having their temperatures taken before their shifts.
The next batch of about 50 stores is scheduled to reopen May 11. Macy's expects to reopen all 775 stores in six weeks if infection rates drop and local governments permit it.
Like so many businesses, Macy's has struggled as the coronavirus pandemic has shut down the economy.
In March the company said it would furlough about 130,000 employees and Moody's Investors Service downgraded the retailer's debt to junk.
Earlier this month, Macy's was removed from the S&P 500.
Macy's did not immediately respond to a request for comment.