Dillard’s Inc. is the latest nationwide department store chain to unlock its doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Little Rock, Ark.-based company announced yesterday its plan to reopen 55 stores in select parts of the country following their temporary closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has sickened 1.09 million people in the United States and killed at least 63,700.
The outposts, which are expected to reopen beginning Tuesday, are located in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. The retailer’s management team is “monitoring all markets” as an increasing number of states and localities are easing restrictions and added that it would reopen stores “as soon as possible.”
In tandem with the announcement, Dillard’s said it had amended its credit agreement, which provides a borrowing capacity of $800 million with a $200 million expansion option. The facility matures on August 2022. It repaid the $779 million borrowed under the previous agreement on March 25 and will have no outstanding borrowings as of May 2.
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In late March, despite the domino effect of retailers shuttering their stores, Dillard’s — as well as chains including Sears and Hibbett Sports — continued to operate business as usual, drawing the ire of some market watchers, who suggested that the decision to stay open could have been perceived as insensitive or shortsighted during the pandemic. Although it never formally announced store closures, many Dillard’s stores across the country reportedly went dark this month.
The retailer joins fellow chain Macy’s in reopening stores: Yesterday, the company confirmed to FN that it would reopen 68 units under reduced hours starting Monday, while a second batch of roughly 50 outposts would reopen on May 11.