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This Is What Nordstrom Is Doing to Keep Shoppers Safe as It Reopens

Nordstrom is preparing to bring its stores back.

As cities and states begin to to reopen their economies, Nordstrom is planning to reopen doors in line with government regulations. The Seattle-based company said it is taking a number of steps to make sure employees and shoppers feel “safe and comfortable.”

The retailer is cutting back its hours of operations, increasing cleaning and sanitization and limiting the number of employees and customers in stores to allow for social distancing. Additionally, it is conducting health screenings for workers and providing face coverings for both employees and customers. What’s more, Nordstrom is offering contactless curbside services and either pausing or adjusting its high-touch services and customer events, as well as keeping tried-on or returned merchandise off the sales floor “for a period of time.”

“The past several months have been unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, and we’re working hard to evolve so we can continue to show up in a meaningful way for you, our employees and communities,” wrote Erik and Pete Nordstrom in an open letter. “We want to be sure the approach we’re taking to reopen our stores is thoughtful, and that we’re creating a store environment that’s safe for everyone.”

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Widespread store closures and decreased discretionary spending have led to decreased revenue for retailers. Similar to Nordstrom, a number of fashion and footwear retailers — such as Macy’s, Shoe Carnival and Dillard’s — have begun the process of bringing back a portion of their fleets as government mandates lift.

While Nordstrom’s online operations have remained functional, its 380 stores had been shut since mid-March amid the coronavirus crisis. The retailer announced on March 23 that it would draw down $800 million on its revolving credit facility, as well as suspend its cash dividend and share repurchases. The company also said it was cutting more than $500 million in operating expenses, capital expenditures and working capital, in addition to its “ongoing efforts to realign inventory to sales trends.” (Nordstrom previously disclosed plans to trim $200–$250 million in costs during the 2020 fiscal year.)

Additionally, the majority of Nordstrom’s workforce, including a portion of its corporate staff, was either furloughed or assigned zero hours of work while stores were shut. Additionally, Erik and Pete Nordstrom announced they would decline their salaries from April to September, and other members of the executive leadership group are taking pay cuts as well. Further, all members of the company’s board will not take cash compensation during this period.

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