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This Is How Kohl’s Is Approaching the Reopening Process

Kohl’s brought back stores in four states on Monday — and now, it’s revealing its plans for reopening more of its fleet.

The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company plans to reopen stores in an additional 10 states on Monday, May 11. It will open up all doors in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana and Texas, as well as the majority of its stores in Tennessee and Florida. Kohl’s units in Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah are already back in business.

In the weeks to come, Kohl’s plans to reopen more stores in line with local guidelines and health information. The company has reduced operating hours and is offering a shopping hour for older adults, as well as for those who have underlying conditions or may be pregnant. Kohl’s has installed protective barriers at its registers and has placed decals on its floors to encourage six feet of social distancing. In addition, the retailer has shuttered its fitting rooms until further notice and has adjusted the returns process to decrease interactions between customers and workers.

Kohl’s workers will experience a number of additional changes. Employees will be required to participate in wellness and temperature checks prior to their shifts, and will be given masks and gloves to use while on the clock. Additionally, the retailer has reduced the number of workers in the store at one time. The company also has set up sanitization areas for associates to use and has rearranged breakrooms and offices to allow for social distancing.

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This week, a number of fashion and footwear retailers — including Macy’s, Chico’s and Tapestry (parent to Coach, Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade) — have begun to reopen their doors in North America. Similar to Kohl’s, other companies are also taking a phased approach to bringing back their fleets, as well as implementing additional health and safety precautions aimed at protecting customers and workers from contracting the coronavirus.

Kohl’s shut its stores in mid-March due to the coronavirus. On March 30, the retailer announced it was furloughing store and store distribution center associates, as well as some corporate office employees “whose work has been significantly reduced by the store closures.” CEO Michelle Gass also said she would decline a salary during the furlough period.

In addition, Kohl’s announced a series of steps to improve financial liquidity. On March 30, the company said it was drawing down the remainder of its $1 billion revolving credit facility, decreasing capital expenditures by about $500 million and “significantly” reducing expenses across its marketing, technology and operations divisions. Kohl’s also has temporarily suspended its stock buyback program.

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