Retail

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

Key Points
  • Macy's is planning to reopen 68 department stores Monday in states including South Carolina and Georgia. 
  • It expects to have all of its roughly 775 stores reopened in six weeks, should Covid-19 infection rates taper off and governments allow retailers to proceed, a spokeswoman said. 
  • All of Macy's stores have been shut since March 18. 
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 stores Monday in states including South Carolina and Georgia, where coronavirus restrictions are easing.

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 about 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 about 20 Macy's locations for the past week in a bid to drive some sales. 

The 68 Macy's stores will be operating on reduced hours, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. About a quarter of them 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 take precautions, including enforcing social distancing, to try to make workers and customers feel safe. 

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

Only a few fitting rooms will be open. 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% 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 about 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 down 4% Thursday. The stock has fallen 65% 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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