Shoe Carnival is getting ready to reopen the majority of its stores across the United States.
The Evansville, Ind.-based retailer has already opened back up 122 stores in states where local officials have either relaxed or ended stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic. Today, it has added another 62 stores to that list. (Shoe Carnival operates 390 stores in 35 states and Puerto Rico.)
“The last six weeks has brought about unprecedented challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the country,” vice chairman and CEO Cliff Sifford said in a statement. “However, as many states begin to restart their economies, the Shoe Carnival team is thrilled to be welcoming our loyal customers back into our stores as the summer season begins.”
According to the company, its initial store openings on Friday had gone “smoothly,” while foot traffic appeared to be “brisk” in most outposts. To help ensure the safety of its workers as well as customers, Shoe Carnival has employed several protective measures, including supplying personal protective equipment, improving cleaning and sanitation procedures and displaying signage to reinforce federal social distancing guidelines.
“While we understand that the new normal we find ourselves in is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes, we are excited to re-engage with our customers and have our team members back in the stores,” Sifford added.
Over the coming weeks, Shoe Carnival plans to reopen even more stores in line with state and local laws after temporarily shuttering its locations in mid-March due to the spread of COVID-19. As its website and mobile app remain operational, the retailer has revealed that e-commerce sales for the period ended March 10 have “grown significantly” and that it would be shifting its resources and marketing initiatives from brick-and-mortar to digital “to further accelerate our online growth trends.”
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing two weeks ago, Shoe Carnival revealed that it has exercised the accordion feature of its credit agreement to improve financial flexibility. As such, the company’s line of credit has been bumped by $50 million to $100 million. (It has no cash borrowings under the facility.) Further, the company has deferred nonessential projects and advertising activities and is working with its supply chain partners to scale down inventories.
Shoe Carnival also announced in early April that its leaders and board members have “substantially reduced” their respective base salaries and cash retainer fees. (The cutbacks are to be effective until at least half of its stores have reopened.) Store associates are continuing to be paid during this time.