After the coronavirus pandemic led it to shutter most of its stores in mid-March, Lululemon Athletica Inc. has begun reopening doors in phases.
The athletic apparel and accessories brand announced its reopening plan, which incorporates key learnings from Greater China, where all locations are now back in business. Its week-by-week, market-by-market approach, said the company, is dependent on local orders and instructions from public health authorities.
As of today, more than 150 Lululemon stores have opened back up in North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia, with roughly 200 additional locations set to reopen over the next two weeks.
“As we begin to reopen Lululemon stores around the world, we are taking a balanced and thoughtful approach to ensure all necessary precautions are in place and to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our people, guests and communities,” CEO Calvin McDonald said in a statement.
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To help ensure the health and wellbeing of both employees and customers, the company said it has put into place new safety precautions in stores, which will operate with modified hours. Associates are required to wear face masks, while cleaning and sanitization practices have been “enhanced.” The number of shoppers allowed in stores at once will be limited, and store layouts have been updated to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
What’s more, Lululemon is closing every second fitting room, adopting a cashless payment system and offering buy online, pick-up in store services. Its return policy has been extended to 30 days after a store’s reopening, and all returns will be held back for 24 hours before they’re placed back on the floor. In-store classes and events are also on pause for the foreseeable future.
During its fourth-quarter conference call in late March, Lululemon noted that it was seeing “virus-related impact” on performance across its markets. It did not provide an outlook for the upcoming fiscal year.